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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

RECIDIVISM & REENTRY:

RECIDIVISM & REENTRY:
Overarching Strategy:
Remove barriers & provide support for successful return from incarceration to society.
Note: A number of the Reentry & Recidivism strategies are incorporated in Oklahoma's Smart on Crime Initiative.
STATE
Maximize coordination,communication & utilization of services among government entities,businesses,faith-based organizations & community-based organizations.
Suggested approaches include:
Develop,maintain &/or enhance a central,easily accessible source of available services & resources.
Increase awareness of availability & use of evidence-based services & programs.
Support legislation & statute revisions that remove barriers & provide support for successful return from incarceration to society.
Increase the proportion of offenders released under supervision.
Deem paroles approved,with the exception of "85 percent" crimes, if no action is taken by Governor in 30 days.
Remove common reentry barriers:
Reinstate civil rights for non-violent offenders 5 to 7 years after the expiration of all sentences.
Establish state tax incentives for landlords who provide access to housing to ex-offenders.
Establish state tax incentives for employers who hire offenders.
Support pilot programs for alternatives to incarceration & reentry programs.
Establish a statewide strategy for payment of fines,fees,restitution & reinstatement of drivers licenses post-release.
Establish post-conviction reviews for eligible offenders.
Allow judges to modify sentences at reviews.
Establish mechanisms to inform courts about offenders who may benefit from release within the first year of their sentences.
Remove automatic exclusions from professional licenses based on felony convictions.
Maintain & expand evidence-based reentry programs & services.
Enhance continuity of care for offenders with mental health & substance abuse issues.
Expand treatment capacity for offenders,being discharged (discharge specialists,intensive care coordination teams,forensic PACT teams).
Expand treatment capacity for individuals on probation/parole.


Enhance substance abuse treatment programs provided in prisons & after release.
Enhance job readiness & employment:
Increase job skills & placement services.
Maintain/expand college-level coursework,vocational training & GED in the prisons through higher education & career tech programs.
Offer incentives to faculty who teach these programs in prisons.
Review admission policies to remove barriers for ex-offenders,including entry restrictions,financial aid restrictions etc.
Expand awareness of federal tax credits for businesses that employ ex-offenders.
Encourage state agencies to employ offenders before they are released.
Explore opportunities to provide certificates of employability for offenders who are qualified to perform productively in the workplace.
Explore opportunities for offenders to complete community service requirements before they are released.
Enhance Life Skills:
Support programs that improve the quality of parent-child interactions during visitation.
Support increased opportunities for incarcerated mothers to enhance parenting skills.
Provide family counseling for mothers & children.
Provide skill-building opportunities in money management.
COMMUNITY
Increase awareness of & support for female offenders reentering the community.
Suggested approaches include:
Educate stakeholders about female offenders & how they can get involved.
Ensure mental health & health care providers are prepared to serve returning offenders.
Expand housing opportunities.
Increase employment opportunities.

Educate employers & employment agencies about female offenders & incentives for hiring ex-offenders.
Encourage employers to remove blanket "no felony" policies.
Expand opportunities for ex-offenders in need of education (literacy, adult basic education,GED,college) & job skills.
Expand mentoring programs for ex-offenders.
Increase evidence based programs for children & their incarcerated mothers that begin during incarceration & bridge to the community post-incarceration.
Increase networks of support for children & their caregivers.
Increase & support visitation programs & transportation for children to enhance relationships while mothers are incarcerated.
Expand/support mentoring programs to assist with completing college applications & financial aid forms, testing,studying etc.
Encourage & support increased involvement from faith-based organizations & support faith-based transition programs.
INDIVIDUAL
Educate,advocate,volunteer.
Tutor a reentering woman who is working toward her GED.
Support non-profits that provide safe housing for women offenders returning to the community.
Start a child care program in your faith-based organization for children of formerly incarcerated moms.
Donate bus passes to organizations that serve reentering women offenders.
Volunteer/raise funds for faith-based groups working in prison ministry.

Volunteer/raise funds for non-profit organizations with a prison program.
Volunteer with local non-profits to assist women who have been incarcerated with the necessities for reentry.
Encourage businesses to employ woman offenders with appropriate skills/knowledge returning to the community.

Resources:

For more information,studies, & resource lists regarding the incarceration of women in Oklahoma, go to the Oklahoma SIS website     http://oklahomasis.com

{the above is the last portion of the Oklahoma SIS action plan to work on female incarceration in Oklahoma. see complete report at their website listed above or view here where I have posted each portion beginning with Calling Oklahomans To Action, then Prevention, Intervention & Diversion, & this last part on Recidivism & Reentry.}





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