Transition to Community Planning Services
With a change in the criminal code, a number of individuals with Level 6 convictions who would have normally gone to the Indiana Department of Correction to be incarcerated are now housed in the local jail. Through discussions with the Evidence-Based Decision Making Team and the Jefferson County Adult Treatment Train administrators, it was determined that services to assist the inmate in their transition to the community are vital to our community. A subcommittee was formed to implement those jail services. The Jail Intervention subcommittee, which consists of members from both the EBDM committee and the JCATT Administrators, worked together to enhance:
- Mental health
- Substance abuse
- Other needs of those inmates
Transition services for incarcerated individuals is a necessary component to ensure a continuum of care for those leaving jail. They are identified through assessment and their participation in jail programs. Transitional services will be focused on those populations that are identified with substance use issues or mental illness. This population is represented nationally in jail systems at a high rate and are a large portion of the population in the Jefferson County Jail.
The Transition Coordinator meets with inmates identified 30 - 90 days prior to release date. The Transition to Community plan identifies the individual’s needs such as:
- Benefits acquisition
- Out- patient behavioral health services
The Transition coordinator provides them with resources to meet their identified needs and schedules all out-patient appointments in the community that are necessary to insure a smooth transition into necessary services.
Some examples of this include:
- Helping people apply for residence in transitional housing units (Ruth Haven for women and Jefferson House for men). If the person has been accepted into transitional housing before they are released, they can go straight from jail to the home. This is especially helpful for those who are accepted into Drug Court, but have to start out in transitional housing so there are no gaps in service.
- Coordinating people into in-patient treatment centers. Some of the waiting lists to get into in-patient facilities are 4 to 8 weeks long, so once a bed is available the court can be notified to have them released.
- The clinical mental health/substance abuse assessment can be completed while the person is incarcerated and the first appointment for services can be scheduled before the person is released so there is no delay in services.
Transition to community plans are shared with stakeholders who are providing community supervision of the participant when released from incarceration. They then work collaboratively to facilitate the transition.