Health and Safety

Advocacy Toolkits to Combat Legal Barriers Facing Individuals with Criminal Records. New York: Legal Action Center, 2011.

Strategies for reducing the challenges faced by ex-offenders reentering their communities are explained by this series of Toolkits. Each kit contains sections regarding what the roadblock is, problems associated with it, and ways to change it, what advocates can do, model laws, Action Alerts, sample advocacy letters, (soon to be included) sample editorials for media outreach. Available Toolkits are: Prohibit Inquiries About Arrests That Never Led to Conviction; Standards for Hiring People with Criminal Records; Certificates of Rehabilitation; Sealing/Expunging Arrest and Conviction Records; Limiting Suspension/Revocation of Drivers’ Licenses to Driving-Related Convictions; Improving Housing Opportunities for Individuals with Conviction Records; Opting Out of the Federal Ban on Food Stamps and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF); Working to Ensure that Individuals Who Can Safely Parent Have an Opportunity To Be Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents; Restoring Medicaid Upon Release from Prison; Securing Official Identification for Individuals Leaving Prisons and Jails Valid State Identification Cards; Primary Funding Streams Available to Assist People with Criminal Records; Enforce Anti-Discrimination Laws; and How to Use Byrne Justice Assistance Grants.


Bobbitt, Mike, Robin Campbell, and Gloria L. Tate. Safe Return: Working Toward Preventing Domestic Violence When Men Return from Prison. New York: Vera Institute of Justice, 2006.

Observations from a roundtable on the prevention of intimate partner violence perpetrated by individuals recently released from prison are reported. This publication covers: what is known about domestic violence and prisoner reentry; domestic violence among African Americans experiencing poverty; convening the roundtable discussions; selecting roundtable participants; key themes — institutional resistance to dealing with domestic violence and reentry, when and how to add domestic violence work to current reentry efforts, supporting women and their children in the reentry process, building cultural competence and dealing with distrust of authorities, and integrating coordinated community responses into reentry plans; sheriff’s anti-violence effort; African American program; what cultural competence is; roundtable participants — where their practices are now; and summary and conclusion.


Building an Offender Reentry Program: A Guide for Law Enforcement. Alexandria, VA: International

Association of Chiefs of Police, 2006. Information about the development and implementation of offender reentry initiatives by law enforcement agencies is provided. Sections comprising this guide are: offender reentry 101; building an offender reentry program; current state of practice examples from law enforcement; glossary; and additional sources.


Jannetta, Jesse, and Pamela Lachman. Promoting Partnerships between Police and Community Supervision Agencies: How Coordination Can Reduce Crime and Improve Public Safety. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), 2011.

The key role a partnership between local law enforcement and community supervision agencies plays in offender reentry is explained. Individuals seeking to reduce recidivism and ensure public safety should read this guide. Sections of this publication include: partnership benefits; partnership contributions; key partnership elements—intelligence and information sharing, case planning and supporting behavior change, problem-solving approaches, emphasis on special populations, and focused deterrence; challenges for supervision/police partnerships; and conclusion. Appendixes provide sample Welcome Home Letter, Search and Seizure Legislation, and Liaison Office Job Description. There are also nine partnership examples spread throughout the text.


Keys to Federal Benefits Access. New York: Reentry Policy Council, 2011. Identifies key issue areas for policymakers seeking to ensure that people who are eligible for SSI/SSDI and Medicaid are enrolled immediately upon release.


La Vigne, Nancy G., et alPrisoner Reentry and Community Policing: Strategies for Enhancing Public Safety. Washington, DC: Urban Institute/Justice Policy Center, 2006.

The relationship between prisoner reentry and community policing while ensuring public safety is investigated. This report is divided into the following parts: introduction; what the impact of prisoner reentry is on public safety; why police should have a role in prisoner reentry; examples from the field; challenges for police reentry partnerships; and looking forward.


Mallik-Kane, Kamala, and Christy A. Visher. Health and Prisoner Reentry: How Physical, Mental, and Substance Abuse Conditions Shape the Process of Reintegration. Washington, DC: Urban

Institute/Justice Policy Center, 2008. The degree to which physical health, mental illness, and substance abuse impact prisoners’ reentry is examined. Six chapters follow an executive summary: introduction; prisoner reentry — an overview; physical health and reentry; mental health and reentry; substance abuse and reentry; and discussion and policy implications. Most of the returning prisoners have chronic health problems — 90% female and 80% men. The likelihood of reincarceration is higher for those returning prisoners having bad health, be it physical, mental, or substance abuse.


Offender Re-Entry: Exploring the Leadership Opportunity for Law Enforcement Executives and Their Agencies: Final Report of the IACP/COPS 2006 Summit. Alexandria, VA: International Association of Chiefs of Police, 2007.

Recommendations are provided that will guide law enforcement executives and their agencies in their work to transition offenders from prison to productive life while protecting the public from those who will re-offend. Fifty recommendations follow an executive summary and are organized according to these areas: asserting leadership; identifying funding; collaborating with community stakeholders; designing offender re-entry efforts; training agencies and community partners; educating the public; and cultivating public support.


Schwarzfeld, Matt, et alPlanning and Assessing a Law Enforcement Reentry StrategyNew York: Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2008.

Components laying the foundation of a reentry initiative, developing the initiative, implementing the plan, and making it stick are explained. The 10 elements of a comprehensive and effective reentry strategy are: viability; stakeholder involvement; initiative’s priority population; mission, goals, and performance measures; initiative’s terms and participant identification; information exchange and systems collaboration; transition planning; enhanced supervision; organizational capacity; and sustainability.


Travis, Jeremy, et al. Exploring the Role of the Police in Prisoner ReentryCambridge, MA: Harvard

Kennedy School, 2012. “This paper is organized around two key elements. The first sets forth the basic parameters of the present-day reentry phenomenon in America, with a particular focus on two dimensions that intersect with the work of urban police departments: high recidivism rates and the concentration of returning prisoners in a few neighborhoods. The second explores two rationales for police involvement in prisoner reentry efforts: the promotion of public safety and the promotion of the legitimacy of the police” (p. 3). Sections of this publication cover: the realities of prisoner reentry in the United States—community concentrations, public safety and recidivism, and the national focus on prisoner reentry; reentry from county jails; prisoner reentry viewed through a policing lens—promoting public safety, and promoting police legitimacy; “East Palo Alto Police Department: A Case Study in Police Involvement in Prisoner Reentry”; and conclusion.


Cutting Recidivism among Adults with Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Fred Osher, MD; David A. D’Amora, MS; Martha Plotkin, JD; Nicole Jarrett, PhD; Alexa Eggleston, JD. Adults with Behavioral Health Needs under Correctional Supervision: A Shared Framework for Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Recovery. Nationwide, September 2012.

The Council of State Governments has developed a guide for coordinating efforts to assist mentally ill and drug addicted adults, with the goal of providing effective treatments and stopping their cycling back through the system. One of the participants summed it up this way: “The framework should not merely perpetuate a more coordinated business-as-usual approach. This is a chance for all three systems – criminal justice, substance abuse, and mental health – to develop creative approaches for supervising and treating individuals in more effective ways.” -Jennifer Skeem, Professor, University of California-Irvine