Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $749,200)
The service area for the Connected to Community (CTC) project is Marion County (Indianapolis), Indiana, with a focus on the census tracts that have had a poverty level over 20% from 2013-2017, according to the American Community Survey. This level of poverty qualifies this project for priority consideration.
The target population is people who are entering the Marion County Jail who are either: assessed to be homeless or at risk of homelessness, and/or are identified as a high utilizer of multiple systems (4 or more jail encounters in a 12 month period) and/or are determined to be at high or very high risk to reoffend per the IRAS (Indiana’s validated risk assessment tool).
The goal is to reduce the rate of return to incarceration for this population. Recidivism for this initiative is aligned with the Marion County Reentry Coalition’s (MCRC) definition: Return to incarceration within one year of release. Progress on achieving this goal is measured by the 6 month and 12 month rate of return.
Clients who are assessed to be eligible for this project will be contacted by a Peer Reentry Specialist within 24 hours of referral. The Peer Reentry Specialist will conduct an initial assessment of needs and begin to work with the client to develop a Reentry Plan. If housing is a primary issue, the Reentry Specialist will connect them to the Reentry Housing Specialist who will work with the client to secure safe and affordable shelter/housing that will be available upon release.
Once the client is released (average length of stay is 5 days) they will reconnect with CTC staff in the Reentry Space in the jail facility and identify immediate steps (what do they need to do in the next 7 days) to implement their Reentry Plan. The Peer Reentry Specialist and Housing Specialist will continue to follow up with clients post release until they are connected to community based services and/or their needs are met.
Everyone who exits the jail must go through the Reentry Space to exit the facility. CTC staff and co-located community based providers will be available in the Reentry Space to provide “reentry packets” that have information on community resources and emergency supplies inside. These are available regardless of enrollment in CTC.