Module 1: Getting Started

Module 2: Leadership, Vision and Organizational Culture

Module 3: Collaborative Structure and Joint Ownership

Module 4: Data-Driven Understanding of Local Reentry

Module 5: Targeted Intervention Strategies

Module 6: Screening and Assessment

Module 7: Transition Plan Development

Module 8: Targeted Transition Interventions

Module 9: Self-Evaluation and Sustainability

Section 3: Selecting the Targeted Population

This section provides an overview of whom to target for transition plans. Your goal is to identify high-risk and -needs individuals, those research tells us stand to benefit the most from a transition plan. Research indicates that low-risk individuals do not need transition plans, and resource limitations may preclude planning for those who are not likely to be released back to the community or for whom someone else will take responsibility for developing a plan (i.e., those facing transfer to state or federal prison).

First, determine if your incarcerated population has been screened and assessed for risk and need and whether that information is easily accessible.

Second, the TJC model recommends using a person’s risk and needs levels as the two main criteria to identify who should receive transition plans.

1. Risk

Screen your entire jail population and assign individual levels of risk of reoffending to each inmate. Set a cut-off point considering the risk screen score and the resources available to provide extensive assessment and transition services to higher risk inmates.

Remember that based on the Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model for assessment and rehabilitation, low-risk individuals should not be targeted for extensive intervention; however, as indicated in previous modules, they can still receive referrals and information that will address targeted needs. For higher risk inmates above the established cut-off point, a more extensive risk/needs assessment should be conducted to inform your transition plan. When considering a “cut-off” point, it is also advisable to design your process so that more comprehensive assessments are only performed with people for whom resources or services are available.   

2. Needs

Next, identify the criminogenic needs (e.g., antisocial values, substance abuse, family dysfunction, antisocial friends, and low levels of personal education) of the population who have a high-risk score and for whom you will or are able to provide transition planning interventions. As discussed previously in Module 5, research shows a positive relationship between these needs and re-arrest.

Transition plans should also target and address basic survival needs (e.g., identification, housing, employment), health, and mental health needs because homelessness and severe mental illness, for example, can affect transition from jail to the community. Transition plans should address the needs identified by individual risk/needs assessments and avoid a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Other criteria your jurisdiction will want to consider:

For more information and examples from the field

1. La Crosse, WI.  TJC Process system case flow chart outlining screening assessment, targeted treatment and transition planning.

2. Lowenkamp, Christopher T.  and Edward J. Latessa. 2005. Developing Successful Reentry Programs: Lessons Learned from the ‘What Works’ Research. Corrections Today,  72–77.

3. Howard County, MD. Howard County Jail Transition Reentry Map.

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