Section 6: Reentry
3 Hours

Lecture Topic TOPIC: REENTRY

Fragmentation Across the System

Use SlideUse Slide #28: Fragmentation Across the System

The Importance of Collaboration

Remember that “in” or “out” perspective and approach to reentry and aftercare that we talked about earlier? Historically, juvenile offender reentry has tended to be viewed in this way, whereby the work that is done with these youth reflects either a residential or institutional, or community point-of-view. As such, roles and responsibilities related to reentry and aftercare can very easily become fragmented and duplicative, making the larger system not nearly as efficient and effective as it could be with these youth.58

The positive news, however, is that some jurisdictions have begun to recognize that a paradigm shift is required in order to capitalize fully on the services and programming that exist along the continuum of care—and throughout residential and institutional placements and the community. Rather than providing services to these youth either “in” or “out,” the goal is to facilitate the successful transition of these youth from “in” to “out” through a series of very carefully planned and managed processes using interventions that are designed to address the needs of the juvenile and bridge the residential or institutional and community dimensions.59

This, of course, requires collaboration among professions in each dimension or setting, as well as between them.60 Regardless of where our offices are—inside a facility or in the community—we must work together. Without collaboration, we will not be successful in facilitating and supporting the transition of these youth back to the community.

Collaboration “Inside”

Collaboration on the “inside” is a prerequisite for successful transition so that challenges and risk factors are identified, and the necessary services and supports are provided in a timely fashion which will enable youth to re-enter the community ready to live healthy, crime-free lives. Common collaborative partners on the inside include specialized treatment providers, other clinicians, healthcare providers, case workers, educational and vocational staff members, custody staff members, and social workers.

Collaboration “Outside”

Collaboration is also key on the outside so that stakeholders like juvenile parole officers and aftercare caseworkers or case managers, community-based specialized providers, other types of clinicians and service providers, school representatives, parents and caregivers, and others are ready to receive—and to support and work productively with—these youth when they walk out the door of the residential or institutional facility.

Collaboration from “In” to “Out”

Perhaps most importantly, collaboration is absolutely essential between those on the inside and those on the outside. This promotes the establishment of a common purpose that focuses on supporting and facilitating success throughout the reentry and aftercare process, and early agreement about the specific goals and individualized strategies employed to work with each juvenile. Division of labor, roles, and responsibilities are shared among those “in” and “out,” and as a result, their efforts are seamless, integrated, and informed by one another.

Remember the example that I provided a little while ago about the two specialized treatment providers—one in a facility, the other in the community—who didn’t collaborate with one another, and “reach out” or “reach in” to make sure that the services they were providing were coordinated and supportive of one another? You’ll recall that this resulted in the provider on the inside covering ground that could have been addressed after release in the community and the clinician on the outside repeating treatment topics that had been the focus of the work done in the facility. The consequences—which we really can’t afford—are a waste of limited time, energy, and resources both in and out; and a reduction in the quality of the interventions provided in both settings.

Collaboration is also critical among those “in” and “out” because of the great many issues, concerns, and barriers that must be addressed in the reentry and aftercare process. Think of all of the things that we talked about that should be examined early and included in the comprehensive plan: specialized treatment needs, mental health problems, healthcare concerns, family issues and family reunification, educational and vocational needs, independent living skills, community supervision issues, and community hostility concerns. There’s absolutely no way that one person—or even a couple of people—can focus on and address all of these things. It takes everyone working very closely together.

Conclusion

Use SlideUse Slide #29: Conclusion

So let’s spend a couple of minutes summing up what we’ve talked about during this section of the training and discussing a few take away points regarding reentry and aftercare in cases involving juvenile sex offenders. Remember the three challenges that we talked about: 

And as you move forward in your important work with these youth, keep in mind the solutions to these challenges that we discussed:

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