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Putting the Pieces Together. Building a Foundation for Successful Re-entry. The Washington State Department of Corrections Guide to Offender Re-Entry. Why should anyone care about re-entry? . For many people, the choice to engage in criminal behavior is

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building a foundation for successful re entry

Putting the Pieces Together

Building a Foundation for Successful Re-entry

The Washington State Department of Corrections Guide to Offender Re-Entry

why should anyone care about re entry
Why should anyone care about re-entry?

For many people, the choice to engage in criminal behavior is

influenced by circumstances that limit their ability to live as productive members of society. If you look at the big picture “effects” 650,000 prisoners release each year nationally, 9000 of whom release to Washington State communities

And if you want more specific information :

  • Of those 9,000 who release, 66% will be re-arrested within 3 years;
  • 83% of females and 71% of males enter DOC with less than a 9th grade level education;
  • 75% of prison offenders have previously been in a county juvenile system;
  • 50% of male children whose parents have been incarcerated will end up
  • Incarcerated;
  • 73% of females and 55% of males in prison have mental health problems;
  • 62% of females and 56% of males in prison reported using drugs the month before their offense;
  • DOC has on average only 21 months to work with incarcerated offenders, and only 17 months with offenders on community supervision ;
  • From 1997 to 2006 recidivism climbed from 31% to 37%, and in 2006 reached 42%;
  • For every offender who re-offends, there are more victims and more costs to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate.


Now, lets take a look at some of the possible barriers that may inhibit future success for the offender …
  • Mental illness
  • Substance abuse
  • Sex offense history
  • Lack of education
  • Lack of vocational skills and work history
  • Anti-social personalities
  • Lack of family and community support
  • Returning to unstable environment
  • Family fragmentation
  • Lack of sustainable & affordable housing
  • Lack of childcare
  • Relationships with other offenders
  • Facility siting challenges
  • Legislation


defining re entry
Defining Re-Entry

“Re-Entry is everything we do to get offenders back into the community as law-abiding citizens.”

Harold W. Clarke, Secretary, Washington State Department of Corrections

  • Re-entry begins when an offender enters the correctional system through community supervision or incarceration. Individualized re-entry plans will be developed that will follow each offender throughout their period of confinement and eventual supervision in the community. Each plan will identify programs the offender needs in order to reduce his or her likelihood of re-offense.
  • The goal of re-entry is not to reward offenders for past mistakes but to enhance public safety by addressing factors that cause criminal behavior.


the guiding principles for re entry implementation
The Guiding Principles for Re-entry Implementation
  • Re-entry begins on the first day an offender comes under the Department’s jurisdiction. This can either be upon entering prison or upon release from jail to community supervision.
  • Individual Re-entry Plans based on in-depth screening that identifies each offender’s strengths and program needs will be developed in prison and at community intake points.
  • An offender will promote through the prison system based on behavior and program needs. Every effort will be made to reduce direct releases from maximum and close custody.
  • Research-based programs and services for offenders will be standardized agency-wide, to include continuation of designated treatment as offenders transition to the community.
  • Research-based programs and services will be prioritized in the Individual Re-entry Plan and will be delivered at the most effective point during the offender case-management period.
  • Decisions regarding the management of offender cases will be made with one overarching goal—enhancing public safety by maximizing the successful re-entry of offenders to society.


identifying alternative options to impact recidivism in washington state
Identifying alternative options to impact recidivism in Washington State

The Department of Corrections partnered with the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to research options to reduce future prison construction, criminal justice costs and crime rates.

The study showed that we needed to look at the root causes of crime and identify what works to reduce offender recidivism. Programs shown to work was identified as “evidence-based” programs and included:

  • Chemical Dependency
  • Adult Basic Education
  • Employment and Job Training Programs
  • Vocational programming
  • Cognitive behavioral treatment
  • Correctional Industries Programming


the department of corrections re entry teams
The Department of Corrections Re-entry Teams
  • The Reception and Diagnostic Center
  • Segmenting the Population
  • Education and Work
  • Chemical Dependency
  • Family Centered Programming
  • CI Laundry
  • Mental Health
  • Community Justice Centers
  • Women Offenders
  • Staff Change Management Model


a snapshot of engrossed substitute senate bill essb 6157
A snapshot of Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill (ESSB) 6157
  • Part I – Community Transition Coordination Networks (Section 100)

(102) Each county will conduct an inventory of the services and resources in the county to assist offenders in reentering communities. The counties will consult with DOC, DSHS in applicable program areas, Employment Security, and other county and city stakeholders.

(103) The Department of Community Trade and Economic Development (CTED) will establish a pilot program for awarding grants to counties for the purpose of implementing coordinated re-entry efforts. CTED will also establish a policy advisory committee to assist in monitoring and maintaining data.

  • Part II – Individual Re-entry Plan (Section 200)

(203) The Department of Corrections must develop in individualized re-entry plan for every offender who is committed to the jurisdiction of the department.

This section also mandates that offenders releasing from confinement must go to their first county of origin, which is defined as the county of the offender’s first felony conviction in Washington.


a snapshot of engrossed substitute senate bill essb 61579
A snapshot of Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill (ESSB) 6157
  • Part III - Partial Confinement and Supervision (Section 300)

Requires the department to conduct an evaluation of work release facilities and community justice centers. The department will also work to increase the number of community justice centers and establish workgroups to both assist in citing news facilities and develop applicable policies.

Requires that those offenders who are eligible (non-violent) demonstrate they are actively participating in re-entry programming to receive additional earned time off their sentence structure.

  • Part IV – Education (Section 400)

Allows third parties (family support) to make contributions on behalf of offenders seeking postsecondary education.

Requires that the Department of Corrections and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges review methods to assess education and vocational programming as it relates to re-entry.

Directs the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to conduct an analysis and evaluation of evidence and research based education programs.


a snapshot of engrossed substitute senate bill essb 615710
A snapshot of Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill (ESSB) 6157
  • Part V – Employment Barriers (Section 500)

Instructs the Department of Licensing (DOL) to convene and chair a workgroup to review and recommend changes to occupational licensing laws and policies to encourage the employment of individuals with criminal convictions while ensuring the safety of the public.

Directs DOL and DOC to establish procedures to assist offenders in obtaining a driver’s license or identification card upon release.

  • Part VI – Housing (Section 600)

The intent is to increase housing available to offenders. Encourages state landlords to formulate rental policies that are not unduly burdensome. States landlords that rent to offenders are not liable for civil damages arising from criminal conduct of the tenant

Directs CTED to establish a pilot program to provide grants to eligible organizations to provide transitional housing assistance to offenders reentering the community.


a re entry focused correctional system looks like
A re-entry focused correctional system looks like….

Each offender receives a timely comprehensive assessment (medical, mental health, education, vocation, chemical dependency, support resources) resulting in an individualized plan.


Based on each plan, the offender receives the right programs and treatments at the right times, provided from the right locations


The plan follows the offender through their DOC commitment so that community safety is enhanced and all those involved support and understand the pieces of the plan that remain unfinished


Partnerships are developed to hold acountable, support, monitor and transition the offender into a productive, prosocial lifestyle


Offenders re-enter communities able to make better choices that contribute to a safe society




For every offender who

re-offends, there are more victims and more costs to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate.

Being smart on crime is addressing the underlying reasons and/or issues why this is happening and how we can prevent the numbers from continuing to increase


Re-entry is

“EVERYONES” business!!