Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,000,000)
Individuals released from jail are too often confronted with addiction, untreated mental illness, homelessness, and other challenges that frequently result in additional incarcerations. Salt Lake County’s (SLCo) Jail Release Resource Center (JRRC) project proposes to disrupt repetitive cycles of recidivism. JRRC will operate within the Salt Lake County Jail (SLCo Jail) release area and provide warm handoff services to prepare individuals for reentry and, most importantly, directly address SLCo’s persistent causes of recidivism.
Short term incarceration is neither conducive to implementing SLCo’s existing robust and effective prerelease services, nor effective at preparing individuals for successful reintegration. When released, these inmates are confronted with the same existing risk factors, often reoffend, are often re-incarcerated for a short time and released, thus generating the proverbial revolving door of criminal justice. JRRC’s vision is to develop a holistic model of defense that does not exclude short-term incarcerants from SLCo’s robust offering of pre- and post-release services.
SLCo Criminal Justice Services (CJS) makes a deep investment in data-informed, evidence-based pretrial assessment, treatment, and probation services for individuals incarcerated for a period of approximately 30 or more days, or of a duration that allows adequate time for services to be initiated and implemented. However, the results of a 2020 CJS needs-gap analysis indicated that data for a very specific population was not being adequately collected and, thus, needs were not being adequately addressed. SLCo thought leaders developed a hypothesis and action plan: to provide short-term incarcerants – those who are held for less than 30 days – direct access to assessment and treatment services to positively affect recidivism rates.
JRRC will serve a minimum of 150 adult offenders. 100% of those served will have been released from short-term incarceration, will be considered Serious and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI), and will return to the community during the 48 month grant period of performance. The target population will receive warm handoff services for relevant assessment and treatment services, based on their initial JRRC needs assessment. The SLCo Jurisdiction and the JRRC Task Force defines the JRRC target population as high-risk of recidivism and high-need of intervention and sets a realistic, measurable goal to reduce total recidivism by 3-5% within the target population, given the known challenges associated to engaging and treating the SPMI population.