Module 1: Getting Started


Module 2: Leadership, Vision and Organizational Culture


Module 3: Collaborative Structure and Joint Ownership


Module 4: Data-Driven Understanding of Local Reentry


Module 5: Targeted Intervention Strategies


Module 6: Screening and Assessmentessment


Module 7: Transition Plan Development


Module 8: Targeted Transition Interventions


Module 9: Self-Evaluation and Sustainability

Section 2: Resource Packet Development

Flesch Reading Ease Software

Transition plans need to be written at a reading level the average incarcerated person can understand. Many of those in jail read between the fifth- and seventh-grade levels, so consider that when developing your transition plans.

An easy way to measure the readability of your reentry plans is to use the Flesch Reading Ease readability assessment software, available in Microsoft Word. The following directions explain how to access these readability statistics when using Microsoft Word 2007:

After Microsoft Word checks for spelling errors, it will display information about the reading level of the document.

This section will help you create resource packets or guides to empower those incarcerated to use services while in jail and after release. You will also learn the best way to distribute the guides, including training for jail staff.

The development of a user-friendly county- or city-specific resource brochure, pamphlet, or pocket-size resource guide will help the returning population and their families understand the community resources available to meet their needs.

The content of resource brochures and guides ranges from listing the most important numbers and hotlines to providing a description of the challenges inmates face at release and helpful tips to manage them.

Resource packets are important for a number of reasons:

Following are 12 recommendations for the development of reentry guides:1

  1. Provide an honest and hopeful introduction.
  2. Provide letters of support and sponsorship from other former inmates.
  3. Prioritize crucial first steps, and include a reference list for less immediate issues.
  4. Incorporate the guide into a training curriculum with in-person support.
  5. Provide the guide well ahead of release to help prepare a smoother transition.
  6. Include content that helps to manage specific challenges.
  7. Include maps of cities, transportation routes, and the locations of major service providers.
  8. Include informative, motivational text, being conscious of prevalent literacy levels.
  9. Include only service providers committed and accessible to individuals with a history of involvement in the criminal justice system.
  10. Be sensitive to language barriers.
  11. Keep the guide small, portable, and discreet.
  12. Evaluate reactions before and after publication of the guide.

Benefit Boards

Benefit boards located throughout your facility are an effective way to disseminate transitional materials, including informational pamphlets and applications from the Social Security Administration; state and local government agencies responsible for health, education, labor/employment, public assistance, identification, and housing; U.S. Veterans Administration; and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

New York City Department of Correction Benefits Board &
Information Wagon
New York City Department of Correction Benefits Board
New York City Department of Correction Information Wagon

For more information and examples from the field

Following are examples of different types of resource materials for people transitioning from jail and prison to the community.

1.Cuyahoga County, Ohio. 2011. Going Home to Stay: A Guide for Successful Reentry for Men and Women.

2. Davidson County, TN Sheriff’s Office. 2008. Reentry packet and information and referral guide.

3. Douglas County, KS. Reentry resource list with map and bus routes.

4. Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Division. Crisis Resource Card.

5. Douglas County, KS. Online list and map of emergency resources in Lawrence, KS.

6. Fishman, Nancy and Jeff Mellow. 2008. Essex County Smart Book: A Resource Guide for Going Home will give you a better idea of information you may want to include in a resource guide.

7. Travis County, TX. Sheriff’s Emergency Numbers.

8.  Orange County Sheriff’s Department Inmate Service Division. Client Release Guide: A guide to food, shelter & other emergency services in Orange County.

 
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1Mellow and Dickenson, “The Role of Prerelease Handbooks for Prisoner Reentry,” Federal Probation 70 (2006): 70–76.