Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,000,000)
Approximately 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. has a criminal record, which limits their access to daily necessities needed to live a productive life. Data indicate that 44% of justice involved individuals will recidivate within five years. The barriers faced by justice involved individuals are a contributing factor to the increase in recidivism. The Louisiana Prisoner Reentry Initiative (LA-PRI) was implemented to reduce those barriers and reduce recidivism by utilizing a comprehensive case management approach that supports moderate to high-risk justice involved individuals, released from a correctional facility as they reintegrate back into the community. A coordinated system of care/Continuum of Care (CoC) enhances and expands reentry resources, creates productive citizens, safer communities, fewer victims and saves taxpayers’ dollars. The target population is 160 individuals who have been assessed as moderate to high risk of recidivating and are returning to Jefferson Parish. The planning phase will involve engaging and convening community stakeholders in the expansion of LA-PRI model in Jefferson Parish. The implementation phase includes the expansion of highly coordinated CoC, where organizations work collaboratively to ensure that quality resources are accessible. The expansion will offer more resources, educate the public, attract investment, build a coalition of diverse stakeholders and develop a community plan that encourages a collaborative approach to reducing recidivism. Adding peer support training and mediation services will assist in rebuilding relationships, strengthening connections and collaborative transition planning that will have a long-term impact on mental health and recidivism rates. We will add financial capability services that will include one-on-one financial coaching education and participation in three financial workshops: Budgeting, Savings, and Credit. Finally, we will develop and launch a campaign to support a cultural change that address policy barriers, immovable politicians, misguided employers, limited services and deep-seated stigmas and taboos that keep justice involved individuals silenced and invisible. We will prioritize opportunities to change cultural norms, through media, advertising, print materials, and narrative change to include our justice involved community members. The evaluation will track needs and services received, recidivism and outcomes. We will utilize a Survival Analysis Study to measure quarterly recidivism progress, comparing LA-PRI clients to a baseline of returning citizens with similar characteristics who were released without support from LA-PRI. This study establishes recidivism rates for the 2011 cohort as a baseline that can be used to compare other release cohorts and provide important insights into how recidivism rates vary over time.