Each program is unique in the type and number of

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concerted effort to reduce recidivism and increase public safety. Each program is unique in the type and number of people and services involved. A reentry program targeting drug addicts might offer different services than one targeting inmates with mental health issues. In order to choose the appropriate services, program designers must identify the target population and the desired outcome. The desired outcome is part of the program’s foundation. Along with the vision and mission statements, the outcome statement defines what the program expects to achieve. With that in mind, the vision for this reentry program is to provide quality services to afford each inmate the maximum opportunity to succeed as a productive member of their community. The program’s mission is to reduce crime and inmate recidivism through individual tailored plans, developed in a collaborative environment with government and community leaders, and focused on in-prison, transitional, and long-term reintegration services. The
DESIGNING A PROGRAM TO STOP THE RECIDIVISM CYCLE program’s overall goal, or outcome, is that at least 50% of inmates participating in the reentry program will complete the program within 18 months of release from prison, and will remain arrest free. This may sound like an insurmountable goal, but it provides everyone involved with a metric to determine success. The next step is to identify the target population, required services, and funding sources. According to Byrne and Taxman (2004) target populations vary by agency. Their study of eight Reentry Partnership Initiative jurisdictions found that 50% excluded inmates with sexual offenses and two excluded inmates with mental health disorders. Of note, Byrne and Taxman (2004) provided no information regarding why specific programs exclude sex-based offenders, but did report that while sex-based offenders have typically low recidivism rates, those that undergo no treatment “have re-offense rates that are twice as high as sex offenders who receive some form of treatment” (p. 58). The remainder of the programs had no offense-based restrictions, and like the reentry program in this essay, instead focused on high-risk inmates, with offenses equating to higher than average recidivism rates (i.e. drug and property offenses). The reentry program in this essay also follows the voluntary pattern as individuals who want to take part in something typically perform better than those who have to take part. To that extent, not everyone who volunteers is suitable for a reentry program. According to Dowdy, Lacy, and Unnithan (2002), many agencies utilize the Level of Supervision Inventory-Revised, or some other objective classification tool to identify inmate risk and requirements. Since the first phase of the reentry program begins during incarceration, classification assessments may help in identifying programs that support offender rehabilitation, and reentry. As living documents that require updating, classification assessments also provide feedback on program success, or areas that need additional focus. Concurrent with population assessment and identification, program

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