I’m writing today to catch you all up to speed on some of the reentry efforts underway within the department. I’ve worked with many of you over the years, but I know there are many I haven’t had the pleasure of working with yet. Hopefully, that changes soon. To make effective changes, we’re going to have to work together and we’re going to need your input. As we move through these next months, you might hear the word “reentry” being utilized more. Why? There is a greater understanding that for healthier communities, happier families, lower recidivism rates and a safer Alaska; the focus needs to be on reentry.
We have gone through some massive criminal justice reform efforts, which includes changing the way we interact and work with individuals in our system at many different points. This was a lot of hard work that YOU did and yes dare I say it — a lot of change. ADOC is primed now more than ever to make impactful changes and provide effective interventions to individuals within corrections. With increased communication and coordination between our department, community agencies, and all the other stakeholders, we can decrease recidivism rates and make changes that increase the safety of our neighborhoods.
Reentry encompasses everything. It begins on remand, continues during incarceration through programming, treatment, and release planning, and continues post-release through the guidance of POs and the assistance of community partners. Reentry is not new and ADOC has been working on it for years; however, the demographics of our population have changed, as have our service providers and the way we interact and communicatewith outside agencies. Therefore we will continue to assess our reentry efforts.
There are many drivers of recidivism and quite frankly, I think some of the innovative ways we are addressing them are pretty cool. Here are just a few examples:
- Development of the DOI Transitional Work Opportunity (TWO) and Community Electronic Monitoring P&P. This enhances the use of EM as a transition tool for employment and vocational purposes (shout out to WWCC). The TWO Interim policy can be accessed here.
- Development of the Volunteer In-Reach Program (VIP) and Qualified Community Representative (QCR) Policies. This helps standardize the way we work with various service agencies and interact with community members to supplement an Institutional need. This also developed a training curriculum for VIP’s and QCR’s that will ensure everyone is properly trained (shout out to all the Institutional folks who provided input — there has been a lot along the way-kudos to LCCC and the Academy on the comprehensive training curriculum). The Volunteer In-Reach Program policy can be accessed here and the Day Pass Program policy can be accessed here.
- Focus on different Transitional Housing Models. I won’t say too much on this, but this makes me happy as it acknowledges “not one size fits all” with reentry.
I have been told I need to keep this short and sweet but get me talking about reentry and I don’t want to stop. One more thing I want to mention is ADOC’s Statewide Reducing Recidivism Strategic Planning Grant (SRR). While in its planning phase currently, we will be submitting a proposal for implementation funds of up to $3 million within the next month. We received this grant based off something mentioned above; the need for increased communication and collaboration. The lack of this minimizes the effectiveness of our efforts that we have taken during this criminal justice reform. During this planning period we are looking at ways to enhance a Coordination of Care Model within ADOC and its vast number of partners.
I will continue to provide updates as we move forward with reentry efforts and strategic planning within ADOC. I look forward to working with everyone in the future, please contact me at any time with questions or comments and visit the ADOC website/reentry for updates as well. June 7th we will be having a “lunch and learn” to discuss AA as a resource as well as the VIP and QCR policies. This is an opportunity to learn about resources and things that are currently happening within ADOC. Please see the flyer for more details.
Thank you and have a great day,