Sister Joan of Arc Center
23 Oak Blvd.
Denver, CO 80203
R J Sak
Sister Joan of Arc Center reduces criminal recidivism and alleviates chronic homelessness by providing short–term shelter that seeks to obtain long–term housing, establish mentoring relationships, and secure stable employment for its clients.
The Saint Patrick Homeless Family Shelter (Patrick House) is an emergency family shelter for women and families in Denver, CO. In November 2004, the Saint Patrick Society (SPS) ended its organizational sponsorship of Patrick House because of excessive financial burden. Patrick House and its board of directors became their own unaffiliated 501(c)3 not–for–profit organization. SPS also signed the deed over to Patrick House for the building Patrick House operates from. This severance also resulted in a loss of 25% of Patrick House's total annual funding. In addition, SPS stipulated that the emergency family shelter cease having any reference to "Patrick" in its identity.
The national trend for human service organizations is to consolidate services and programs for the homeless into large centers and consolidated civic plans. The City of Denver is following suit. In December 2004 Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper announced that homeless day services would be bolstered in three local emergency shelters. Patrick House is the only emergency shelter not to be directly included in this plan.
Federal grants are rewarding organizations that maintain the national trend of streamlining services. Across the nation organizations that solely offer emergency shelter are both rethinking long term strategies and making significant changes to stay competitive. To not respond to the trend results in a reduction of services and ultimately ceasing operations due to funding shortages.
It is becoming increasingly difficult for Patrick House to attract funding. During a time of industry transition, stagnation is tantamount to surrender. In order for Patrick House to continue as a viable service provider for the homeless population honest evaluations must be made, alternatives considered, and proactive forward thinking decisions made.
The primary demand for homeless services is a constant need. A newly emerging market segment is offender reentry programs. 600,000 people are released from incarceration every year and the statistical rate for recidivism is 66%. Recidivism is over 70% for people who upon release are homeless. Homelessness and offender reentry is a significant social issue with costly consequences. To address this issue, the US Government announced a 2003 joint initiative—the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI). The Colorado Department of Correctional Services implements locally SVORI programs. The Colorado Department of Correctional Services has communicated a community demand for a transitional shelter for reentering homeless offenders.
Funding for Patrick House will be pursued through federal grants. Transitional shelter for reentering homeless offenders is of particular interest to the Department of Labor, Department of Justice, and the Housing & Urban Development Committee. Awards are being announced on a regular basis. In additional to $100 million that funds SVORI, an additional $20 million for grant money was announced on April 1st 2005 by the Department of Labor to address offender reentry.
This business plan will detail the steps needed to dissolve Patrick House. The turn around plan is for the creation of the Saint Joan of Arc Center (SJAC)—an organization whose long–term vision is to become the community leader for offender reentry and homeless issues. SJAC's first objective is to establish the Joan of Arc Transitional Living Program (TLP). TLP's mission is to provide shelter for reentering homeless offenders.
Saint Joan of Arc Center is a national beacon and the local community standard for serving the homeless with an offender reentry program.
Saint Joan of Arc Center reduces criminal recidivism and alleviates chronic homelessness by providing short–term shelter that seeks to obtain long–term housing, establish mentoring relationships, and secure stable employment for its clients.
Saint Joan of Arc Center
Legal Form of Business
Saint Joan of Arc Center is to be a 501(c)3 not–for–profit organization.
After twenty years of sponsorship, Patrick House became an organization independent from the St. Patrick Society in November 2004. The annual budget for Patrick House had grown to be 250% of the entire budget for the Society. The increasing financial liability for the Society became too heavy of a burden and it was mutually agreed that the Society would be able to best operate separate from Patrick House.
The Society signed over the deed for the building the Patrick House operates from for the cost of $1. The financial result of this separation is a loss of 25% of total funding for Patrick House. Funding loss coupled with a tight environment for funding, Patrick House is surviving financially on a month to month basis. Funding and fundraising is the foremost concern for Patrick House. It was additionally agreed that Patrick House would no longer use "Patrick" to identify itself.
In the City of Denver, Patrick House is one of four emergency shelters. In December 2004, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper announced plans to involve three emergency shelters and attempt to create a continuum of care available to Denver's homeless population. Public funding is being used for this project. Patrick House is not included in the plan. It is reasonable to expect that civic attention will be given to the Mayor's plan and, in turn, philanthropists will take interest in seeing this plan succeed. Not being included in the Mayor's proposal will prove to be a significant hurdle that impedes the potential flow for future funding to Patrick House.
Today is April 2005 and Patrick House is in an interim period. The board of directors and staff remain intact and united through the reorganization process with the Society. The critical question at Patrick House today is funding. Patrick House is surviving the short term by tooth and nail financial efforts. Where is it going to come from and how is it going to happen? Now is the time for Patrick House administrators to critically assess Patrick House's role in the Denver community and evaluate the most effective way to both serve the homeless and attract long term funding.
What follows here is a plan for Patrick House to grow into a financially comfortable and socially valuable organization. The first building block for any not–for–profit organization is to satisfy the demand for a public need.
A national study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2002 revealed that in a three–year window, the recidivism rate for ex–offenders was 67%. Two–thirds of released prisoners are re–arrested and one–half are re–incarcerated within 3 years of release from prison. Over 60% of these offenses were committed with the first year of release. In 2003, researcher Peter Silia observed that "It appears from the available evidence that persons being released from prison today are doing less well than their counterparts released a decade ago in successfully reintegrating into their communities. More of them are being rearrested; these arrests are occurring more quickly; and as a group, ex–convicts are accounting for a growing share of all serious crimes experienced in the United States."
Trends are no different in the State of Colorado. As of March 2003, Colorado's prison population was at 4,018. This figure represents 132% of its capacity.
In a study conducted in 2000, researcher Ali Riker measured the impact that community based treatment models had upon recidivism for transitioning offenders who are homeless. The key finding of Riker's demonstrates that community based treatment models that serve the homeless reduce recidivism from 71% down to 44%.
Speaking to the relationship of recidivism and homelessness, Larry Wayne of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services notes: "Recidivism for transitioning offenders is over 70% for those without a non–criminalgenic home environment. In the state of Colorado, there is a chronic shortage of housing for transitioning offenders. There is an absolute need for residential based, community supportive housing in Denver, CO. Stable housing for offender reentry initiatives is an absolute need right now."
In 2003, the United States Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor and Veterans Affairs came together to produce the Severe and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI). SVORI aims to reduce recidivism rates by funding community based treatment models. The Colorado Department of Correctional Services is the only organization working with SVORI in the state of Colorado. The Colorado Department of Correctional Services does not have a work plan for a program to provide transitional living services for reentering homeless offenders.
The University of Colorado is currently evaluating SVORI in Colorado. The study is expected to continue for several months before a definitive assessment and recommendation come forth. It is anticipated that this study will highlight a positive correlation between recidivism and homelessness. A need for a transitional living shelter for reentering offenders is expected to be highlighted.
The demand is for offender reentry programs. In Denver, the opportunity to enter the offender reentry market is to provide a transitional living program for reenter homeless offenders. The long term opportunity is for Patrick House is to develop this market segment. An exit strategy for Patrick House is addressed further in the plan. First, the birth of the Saint Joan of Arc Center will be highlighted.
Saint Joan of Arc Center
SJAC is the "turn around" plan for Patrick House. SJAC will work out of the same building (23 Oak Blvd.) as Patrick House did. The board of directors and staff of SJAC are retained from Patrick House. A transition strategy and an overview of SJAC personnel is included later in the plan.
The Saint Joan of Arc Center (SJAC) is a 501(c)3 not–for–profit organization that funds and manages programs that address homelessness and offender reentry. The vision for SJAC is to a nationally recognized and local community leader for services provided to the homeless reentering offenders in Denver, CO.
The immediate foundation for SJAC is the establishment of the Saint Joan of Arc Transitional Living Program (TLP). For the short term, SJAC will be indistinguishable from the TLP. The long term vision is for SJAC to grow into several programs organized under the organizational umbrella of SJAC. The long term growth vision for SJAC is detailed below.
Saint Joan of Arc Transitional Living Program
The goal of Saint Joan of Arc Transitional Living Program is to provide individuals with the necessary resources and support they need to gain self–sufficient living in an atmosphere of dignity, integrity and respect. The Saint Joan of Arc Transitional Living Program serves adult (18+) women who upon being released from prison are homeless.
Believing all adults have the necessary resources to achieve independent living, we call our guests into high accountability for their actions or in–actions. Adults benefit from this philosophy, as does the entire community.
With the increased awareness of the value that community plays in helping to reshape the lives of those in need, we are working to form partnerships and strong relational ties with individuals and community organizations throughout Denver and the surrounding community. We realize that those who need us most belong to the community, and as such, it is the community joining together that is best able to meet their needs. We are hopeful that through the ongoing involvement and support of others, our guests will continue to receive the care and services they need to help enable them to fully participate in the community they are a part of.
We believe that the community finds value in the services that the Saint Joan of Arc Center provides and that the ongoing support of community organizations, associations and individuals is reflective of the community's means of contributing to the joint effort required to serve the needs of members of the community, and ultimately, of humanity.
The end outcome for TLP is the reduction of offender recidivism. Providing transitional living for reentering homeless offenders pursues this goal. This goal is measured through statistical analysis and is benchmarked by national trends.
The work of the Saint Joan of Arc Transitional Living Program is to:
- Offer short-term transitional shelter for women being served by the Colorado Department of Correctional Services' offender reentry program.
- Grow to imitate the client services offered by Colorado Department of Correctional Services and provide a long term homeless offender reentry services without relying on Colorado Department of Correctional Services for resources.
TLP is based on a community treatment model, in that TLP works with the Colorado Department of Correctional Services treatment model. Communication and relationship with potential guests begin while incarcerated and may continue well beyond a guest moving on from the TLP. To encourage the end outcome, the TLP emphasizes security in three areas: housing, mentoring, and employment.
Short–term transitional housing is located at the building previously known as "Patrick House". The building can comfortably shelter up to 40 people. The standard length of stay is a flexible 30–60 days. Thus, TLP can optimistically serve 480 people each year. A realistic figure is 240 people. A minimum number is 200 people.
All living necessities are provided for guests at no charge. In house services include: three meals a day, toiletries, clothing, laundry and basic living expenses as needed.
Long term housing is explored with staff, social workers, and community organizations to identify available options for either private living or publicly supported housing programs. TLP is a fast track to secure these services and realize "housing first".
Mentoring is the promotion of a person's physical, mental, and emotional health. The basic goal here is to help get a person readjusted and situated within their community. Each person is guided by a social worker to identify personal needs and satisfy personal healing and growth.
While incarcerated a Colorado Department of Correctional Services social worker establishes a relationship with inmates who may quality as participants with SVORI. It is here that clients for TLP are identified, their personal needs assessed, and personal goals are established with the inmate. Based on a "community based treatment model" a care plan for the individual is created by the social worker.
The social worker introduces the client to the staff of TLP. In addition to the Colorado Department of Correctional Services social worker, TLP staff has a significant amount of experience providing a continuum of care for the homeless. Community networking and relationships allow TLP staff to provide entry points for health care, mental health services, support groups and legal services. The purpose of the mentor is to help the client establish a network of relationships needed to successfully transition from incarceration into reentry.
This mentoring process may or may not be complete by the time a person completes TLP. SJAC will continue to provide community entry points for former guests and be a foundation of support as each person reconstructs a social network and builds core support relationships.
Employment is the establishment of any sustainable income allowing a person to live a frugal life. For some this may include working a job. For others it may include receiving a disability check. TLP works with the Denver Workforce Development Board to seek employment and cultivate employable skills. Public funding supports other folks. TLP works with all people to identify a means to survive by.
Patrick House receives grants from the federal Housing and Urban Development Program (HUD), the Federal Emergency Maintenance Act (FEMA), the Colorado Homeless Assistance Trust Fund Act, and other private foundations. Each of these grants requires that Patrick House provide emergency shelter services either for women, children, and/or families. By transitioning into an organization that provides shelter for offenders being released from incarceration, Patrick House breaks the terms of its grants. In order for Patrick House to terminate and for the Saint Joan of Arc Center to be born, several grants will need to be terminated and remaining funding reimbursed to the grantors.
The typical concern for grant termination is loss of funding. Sufficient funding sources for the Saint Joan of Arc Center have been identified and will be addressed in the funding section below.
The transition from old grants into new grants will be both an accounting and a communications matter. Determining the accrual of expenses and the budgeting schedule for each grant will determine how much money needs to be reimbursed to the grantor. The current administrative assistant who has both experience and a background in accounting can handle such facts and details.
The bottom line is that the dissolution of Patrick House will be characterized by communicating a sharpened commitment to serve the homeless population of Denver. The market segment of reentering homeless offenders is developing and it makes economic and social sense to hone services to this population. Communication with grantors and their respective agencies will serve the ending of Patrick House.
The legal transition for when Patrick House closes and the Saint Joan of Arc Center opens will be determined by the date of when majority funding begins for SJAC. Given the current grant opportunities and deadlines, an optimistic target date for the end of Patrick House and opening of the SJAC is November 1, 2005. Realistically, the date is flexible and transition will be gradual.
There are two chief concerns for the transition: staff preparedness and community readiness. SJAC will be serving a distinct segment of the homeless population than it has in the past. Reentering offenders all come from the common environment of incarceration and will have unique needs that SJAC staff will need to be sensitive to and prepared to work with.
In the months leading up to the transition, an overview of criminal justice and presentations and conversations with social workers will provide the backbone to equip SJAC staff to be more ready to address the daily care needs of the people they will be serving. SJAC staff will need to meet with local criminal justice organizations and social workers to be introduced to the population they will be serving. Ongoing invitations to hear presentations from local agencies will not help share knowledge; it will be an excellent source for networking and building relationships.
Initially the primary relationship for the SJAC is with the Colorado Department of Correctional Services. Colorado Department of Correctional Services provides community treatment and programming for reentering offenders. Colorado Department of Correctional Services has expressed direct interest to see the establishment of a transitional shelter that would address reentering offenders. Planning the opening of SJAC with the help of Colorado Department of Correctional Services is essential. Colorado Department of Correctional Services is the current beacon for offender reentry and will embrace a relationship with SJAC.
Apart from the community resources, networks, and relationships offered through Colorado Department of Correctional Services, SJAC will maintain relationships with all the local service organizations that Patrick House worked with on a daily basis. To be sure, organizations such as the Greater Denver Workforce Development, Charles Drew Health Services, and Community Alliance have indicated a willingness to support and offer service to programs that address prisoner reentry.
The board of directors and staff of SJAC will remain the same during this period of growth. During this period of change, a strong anchor of leadership is needed to see the transition through. In a period of change, maintaining the professional integrity and social fabric of an organization will help stabilize SJAC.
The members on the board of directors are:
Rev. Trent Snow—Spiritual Advisor
Trent is the Pastor of St. Mark's Parish and former Provincial for the Wisconsin Province of the Jesuits. Trent has taught at St. Paul's Preparatory School for 20 years.
Jim is the President of Marketing for RBG Service Corp. He has been active in 12 Step Programs for 25 years.
Don served as Executive Director for the Uta Halee Girls Village for 15 years. Today he is retired and does Outreach Ministry for St. Philip Neri Parish.
Bob has been the Director of Human Resources at St. Clair of Montefalco Community College for 10 years. He is a former Chair of the Campfire USA Board and is a Deacon at St. Joseph's Parish.
Donald Oppenmeyer has been the Executive Director of Patrick House for 7 years.
Brett teaches Theology at St. Paul's Preparatory School. For 20 years he has served as Director for the school's annual food drive—Operation Others.
Dick has worked as an Investor and Entrepreneur for 15 years and is retired from the Civil Service. He joined the Patrick House board a month ago.
Jane taught for 20 years at the University of Colorado. She is a former President of the business community development group Denver Group.
Neal has been the Director for the Colorado Community Office of Retardation and Developmental Disabilities for 12 years. He has been involved in community activism for 10 years.
Mike is an attorney and a Managing Partner with Twiz PPC. He is active with a variety of community organizations.
For 25 years Brent worked as a Comptroller for First Charter Bank. He has also served on the board of New Covenant Center for 6 years.
Lisa Spornon—Vice Chair
Lisa has worked at Denver Methodist Hospital as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist for 20 years and has served on the board of Patrick House for 6 years.
Robert has been a Managing Director for Smith Investment Company for 15 years. He has also served as the Director of Investments at Girls and Boys Town.
Jack is a Managing Partner at the Apex Architectural Firm. For 15 years he has worked as an architect for Apex.
As Patrick House closes, the full time staff of Patrick House will carry over and form the nucleus for organizing, opening, and operating Saint Joan of Arc Center. In addition to the named staff, two full timed non–salaried positions will continue to be filled by several part time hourly–wage employees.
Executive Director—Mark Rielle
Mark has a background as both a managerial administrator and as a social servant. In his first career, Mark spent several years as a project manager for an Denver–based financial firm. In the mid 1980s, Mark organized a Denver Catholic Worker house whose ministry was with homeless men. From 1997 until the present, Mark has served as the executive director for the St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Family Shelter. Mark is deeply connected within the Denver community and serves on various boards and committees that address homelessness in Denver. Mark is widely recognized by his peers as being a person who is deeply immersed in the issue of homelessness and is a topical guru for social services.
Administrative Assistant—Daniel Holden
Daniel has served as the Administrative Assistant at the St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Family Shelter for five years. In this position, he oversaw all accounting, budget, and general financial issues for the Family Shelter. Daniel also comes with a background in insurance. Previously, Daniel has spent time as an accountant in the insurance industry.
Community Programmer—Mary Moore
Mary has earned a PhD in occupational therapy and has taught courses at both the University of Nebraska–Omaha and Depauw University. In 2004 she joined Patrick House to focus on the community services available for clients being served by Patrick House.
A grant driven financial strategy will stabilize SJAC and orient the organization towards the future. This foundation will build to the vision of establishing SJAC as the organization for reentering offenders and homelessness in Denver, CO.
The primary source of funding for Patrick House is federal grant awarded for offender reentry programs. Conversations with social service professionals, academic researchers, and federal employees are quite optimistic that federal and state funding for offender reentry programs will continue for the next several years. Thus, it is reasonable to expect that SJAC's annual budget of $500,000 can rely on grants for the foreseeable future.
On April 1, 2005 the US Department of Labor (DOL) announced a solicitation for grant application for prisoner re–entry initiatives. DOL seeks faith based and/or community organizations that provide services to prisoners reentering the community. The grant is valued at $660,000 and applications are due July 13, 2005. Grantees must begin services within four months of the award reception. This is a prime grant for SJAC to apply for and more information on this grant is found in Appendix 9.
Since 2001 the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has been regularly awarding project grants for offender reentry programs. In recent months, a 2 year grant worth $1 Million was announced. The application deadline for this award passed in March. It is anticipated that an identical grant (CFDA 16.202) will be made available in early 2006.
The Severe and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) is a backbone for funding. Between 2003 and 2006, over $100 million is being distributed to sixty–nine grantees to develop offender reentry programs. The Colorado Department of Correctional Services is one of the primary grantees for SVORI and looks to develop and fund such programs in the state. Because current SVORI funding ends in Oct 2006, relying on Colorado Department of Correctional Services for primary funding is not sustainable. It will be smart to continue to follow SVORI because it is believed that the US Government will continue to sponsor offender reentry programs after SVORI concludes.
The bottom line is that the Saint Joan of Arc Transitional Living Program will provide emergency shelter for people who are both reentering offenders and homeless. There is substantial money available for this market segment. SJAC can pursue grants that are above and beyond offender reentry programs. In addition, The Housing and Urban Development Committee, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and United Way of the Midlands also regularly provide grants, tax credits, and funding opportunities to basic emergency shelters. SJAC is included in this classification. Because SJAC is growing into a center for homeless services, it is reasonable to believe that SJAC can become a player for grant opportunities where Patrick House was losing ground.
Historically, private donations to Patrick House annually exceeded $100,000. In addition, the annual golf fundraiser brings in an additional $25,000. Although primary care is changing from women and families to reentering offenders, communicating the community need and simultaneously demonstrating the social value of Patrick House to past donors should be enough to retain a substantial amount of this private funding. It is realistic to expect that SJAC will be able to secure $500,000 in annual funding.
The 2006 budget is rather loose and is benchmarked by the assumption that SJAC will be realistically able to win a substantial grant with a median value of $500,000.
Patrick House's budget for fiscal year 2005 is $328,200. 1 full year of operating the Saint Joan of Arc Center is budgeted at $500,000. The largest leap is the salaries being paid to the full time administrators. The figures of $45,000, $40,000, and $35,000 are set to be competitive figures for similar positions in not–for–profit organizations.
SJAC is a forward thinking, growth oriented organization and its pay scale reflects the caliber of team players involved. Employee benefits have been increased by 55% to encourage workplace unity and ease financial concerns so often associated with social service organizations. If key administrators are shown appreciation, it sets a tone of professionalism and progress throughout the entire organization.
$216,000 is earmarked for any two part time staff members to be at Patrick House every hour of every day. A rate of $12.32/hour for two positions satisfies this figure. Currently, there are several staff members who work part time at Patrick House. These individuals are the fabric that will encourage continuity throughout the significant change from Patrick House into the Saint Joan of Arc Center. It is important that an appropriate pay scale be used as a vehicle to retain staff members during this transitory period.
Various administrative and operating expenses show slight increases. Professional fees are more then doubled to reflect the potential costs incurred during the legal transition from Patrick House to SJAC. Potential professional fees may also be incurred should SJAC have to engage in legal action to resolve its land threat (see below).
Fundraising expense reflect the need for SJAC to do basic marketing procedures to establish its identity in Denver. Newsletters, letterheads, basic websites, etc. will need to organized in order to raise awareness about the services of SJAC as well as comfort donors that the transition from Patrick House to SJAC is in fact a smooth and seamless one. Finally, $4,000 is added to building and grounds repairs to reflect changes that the building may need to undergo in order to be up to code with the standards of Colorado Department of Correctional Services as a community partner.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND EVALUATION TOOLS
The University of Colorado's Department of Criminal Justice is currently doing a local study on the Colorado Department of Correctional Services' offender reentry program. This study is expected to be complete in the near future and will deliver program recommendations and insights. It is expected that the report will include correlations for recidivism and homelessness. As SJAC begins to address this very issue, it is in a prime position to seek partnership with criminal justice researchers at the University of Colorado.
SJAC's partnership with the University of Colorado and the Colorado Department of Correctional Services will create a cutting edge synergy that synthesizes experience, research, and implementation. The benefit for SJAC is two–fold. First, being plugged into an active academic body will provide SJAC will progressive social models for service and care. Secondly, SJAC will be able to translate its raw data into meaningful benchmarks and create measuring sticks for success. This information will be able to demonstrate the success and community value of offender reentry programs.
As SJAC seeks to position itself as the leader for recidivism and homelessness, it may be strategically wise to seek research grants and offer employment to the University of Colorado professors and graduate students to strategically work with SJAC. Investing in a smart relationship will encourage local growth, foster national attention, and attract funding oriented towards growth and the improvement of a socially valued service.
As described, the Saint Joan of Arc Transitional Living Shelter is the first program sponsored by the Saint Joan of Arc Center. As the parent organization, the vision for SJAC is to be the recognized community leader for services provided to homeless and returning offenders in Denver. The under-pinning of this turn around plan is to building programs poised for long term organizational growth.
The Transitional Living Program (TLP) is the first step to realize this vision. Over the next one to two years, staff will gain working knowledge for offender reentry programming. In this time, TLP will demonstrate itself as effectively being able to reduce recidivism by alleviating homelessness. The story of Patrick House growing into the Saint Joan of Arc Center will be a modern day benchmark for how emergency shelters grow from surviving into thriving.
In order for SJAC to provide a methodically effective and financially sustainable continuum of care for homeless reentering offenders, SJAC will need to grow and be able to touch society with its message for dignified care in a myriad of ways.
The long term goal for SJAC is to be the community center for offender reentry in Colorado. Colorado Department of Correctional Services is providing a blueprint for services and SJAC is poised to emulate these services, work with University of Colorado to evaluate successes, and make positive adjustments for long term effectiveness and growth. Over the next 2–3 years, SJAC can grow vertically to the point of needed to expand into a larger operating space.
Acquiring an additional building would allow SJAC to be able to provide long term support for reentering offenders living in the community. In the future, the best professionals who deal with offender reentry issues will be employed by SJAC. As a result, it only makes sense to provide a long– term continuum of care for persons needing periodic support and professional consultation.
In order to fund the acquisition of an additional building, it will be necessary to secure tax credits, work with officials from the City of Denver and seek prospective donors. By now the Transitional Living Program will be having a positive effect on the people it serves and provides a social value for the Denver community. SJAC will be in position to provide empirical evidence with a goal–based vision for the future thus attracting the funding needed to acquire a second building for programming and services.
SJAC is located at 23 Oak Blvd, Denver, CO. SJAC does own the building sitting on this property but does not own the property. Local rumors are suggesting that the current property owner is entertaining proposals to sell the property. Supposedly a major local organization is interested in acquiring and developing the property. The time frame is relatively unknown, as of yet nothing official has been communicated to SJAC.
It is important for SJAC to take proactive steps to anticipate this proceeding. Crucial steps include developing a bargaining strategy and maintaining a short list for alternative buildings to move the SJAC operations into. When this issue materializes it will be imperative for Patrick House to spread the word of the immediacy of its foreclosure and the absolute necessity to secure an alternative site to resume services as soon as possible. Intelligent use of media and public awareness coups will be needed to identify Patrick House as a "champion for the needy".
If and when SJAC is notified of its building foreclosure, instantaneous communication and negotiation with the antagonistic parties will be necessary. Patrick House's priority is to secure an alternative site to continue operations. Cooperation with the Housing and Urban Development Commission and local realtors will swiftly identify potential sites to move the guests and operations of Patrick House into. Negotiations, public pressure, and emergency private appeals will provide the capital needed for this one–time extraordinary transition.
SEVERE AND VIOLENT OFFENDER REENTRY INITIATIVE
Nearly 650,000 people are released from incarceration yearly and arrive on the doorsteps of communities nationwide. The federal government, through the Office of Justice Programs, offers guidance and direction to communities as they prepare for ex–offenders going and staying home. This page presents an overview of this issue and describes OJP's Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative.
The reentry of serious, high–risk offenders into communities across the country has long been the source of violent crime in the United States. As more than 630,000 offenders are released from prison every year, the problem of their recidivism has become a crisis that affects all parts of a community. Fewer than half of all released offenders stay out of trouble for at least 3 years after their release from prison, and many of these offenders commit serious and/or violent offenses while under parole supervision. This is a significant problem because there were more than 652,000 adult offenders under State parole supervision across the country at yearend 2000 (Hughes, Beck, and Wilson, 2001).
The statistics regarding juvenile offenders present a similar picture. Juveniles were involved in 16 percent of all violent crime1 arrests and 32 percent of all property crime2 arrests in 1999. Based on the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP's) Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (Sickmund, 2000), an estimated 100,000 youth are released from secure and residential facilities every year and because the length of incarceration for juveniles is shorter than for adults, a relatively greater percentage of juveniles return to the community each year. In addition, research indicates that a small percentage of juvenile offenders commit the overwhelming majority of juvenile crime.
Some correctional officials—under pressure to cut costs—have curtailed prison programs and services that could ameliorate factors that place inmates at higher risk of recidivism after release. Tougher sentencing laws have, in some cases, removed or limited inmates' incentives to enter available treatment programs. Long, fixed prison terms for serious offenders can sometimes have the perverse effect of returning the most risky offenders to the community with the least control and supervision. There is sometimes little continuity between institutional programs and activities, offenders' reentry plans, and the supervision and services they receive once released.
Communities of law–abiding citizens are victimized by these offenders, making these communities less safe, less desirable places to live. Research has shown that criminal behavior can be predicted for individual offenders on the basis of certain factors.3 Some factors, such as criminal history, are static and unchangeable. Others, such as substance abuse, antisocial attitudes, and antisocial associates, are dynamic and changeable. With proper assessment of these factors, researchers and practitioners can classify groups of offenders according to their relative likelihood of committing new offenses with as much as 80 percent accuracy. Application of the risk principle requires matching levels or intensity of treatment/supervision with the risk levels of offenders. High–risk offenders require intensive interventions to reduce recidivism (Gendreau and Andrews, 1990). Since the return of these high–risk adult and juvenile offenders is imminent, corrections, law enforcement, and community service agencies should collaborate to monitor offenders while assisting them in the development and implementation of a concrete, specific reentry plan. Unless communities do this, they will continue to be victimized by these offenders.
- Violent crime includes criminal homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault.
- Property crime includes burglary, larceny–theft, auto theft, and arson.
- Such factors could include, but are not limited to, prior convictions for violent offenses or serious offenses that may not be defined by statute as violent; violent, assaultive, predatory, or disruptive in–prison behavior; and other high–risk factors that may include affiliation with gangs or security threat groups.
Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative
The Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative—which was developed by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP), in conjunction with the federal partners—is a comprehensive effort that addresses both juvenile and adult populations of serious, high–risk offenders. It provides funding to develop, implement, enhance, and evaluate reentry strategies that will ensure the safety of the community and the reduction of serious, violent crime. This is accomplished by preparing targeted offenders to successfully return to their communities after having served a significant period of secure confinement in a state training school, juvenile or adult correctional facility, or other secure institution.
The Reentry Initiative represents a new way of doing business for federal, state, and local agencies. Instead of focusing the Initiative on a competition for a limited amount of discretionary funds, the federal partners are coming together to help state and local agencies navigate the complex field of existing state formula and block grants and to assist them in accessing, redeploying, and leveraging those resources to support all components of a comprehensive reentry program. The discretionary funding available through this Initiative will be provided only to fill any gaps in existing federal, state, and local resources.
Communities selected to participate in the Reentry Initiative will have the opportunity to develop state– of–the–art reentry strategies and to acquire knowledge that will contribute to the establishment of national models of best practices. The Reentry Initiative allows communities to identify the current gaps in their reentry strategy and present a developmental vision for reentry that seeks to fill those gaps and sustain the overall strategy. Additionally, communities can enhance existing reentry strategies with training and technical assistance that will build community capacity to effectively, safely, and efficiently reintegrate returning offenders.
The Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative is supported by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and National Institute of Corrections (NIC), and their federal partners: the U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Labor (DOL) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Social Security Administration (SSA).
Three Phases of Reentry
The Reentry Initiative envisions the development of model reentry programs that begin in correctional institutions and continue throughout an offender's transition to and stabilization in the community.
These programs will provide for individual reentry plans that address issues confronting offenders as they return to the community. The Initiative will encompass three phases and be implemented through appropriate programs:
- Phase 1 —Protect and Prepare: Institution–Based Programs. These programs are designed to prepare offenders to reenter society. Services provided in this phase will include education, mental health and substance abuse treatment, job training, mentoring, and full diagnostic and risk assessment.
- Phase 2 —Control and Restore: Community–Based Transition Programs. These programs will work with offenders prior to and immediately following their release from correctional institutions. Services provided in this phase will include, as appropriate, education, monitoring, mentoring, life skills training, assessment, job skills development, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.
- Phase 3 —Sustain and Support: Community–Based Long–Term Support Programs. These programs will connect individuals who have left the supervision of the justice system with a network of social services agencies and community–based organizations to provide ongoing services and mentoring relationships.
Examples of potential program elements include institution–based readiness programs, institutional and community assessment centers, reentry courts, supervised or electronically monitored boarding houses, mentoring programs, and community corrections centers.
COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES SVORI OVERVIEW
This is an overview of the SVORI–funded Colorado Department of Correctional Services work plan. SJAC is positioned to provide serves to phase 2 and phase 3 of the program.
Colorado has one SVORI grantee (Colorado Department of Correctional Services) serving adults returning to four zip codes in metropolitan Denver. The SVORI target population is individuals who are in need of intensive services upon release. The line chart below provides statistics on adult prison admission and release trends in Colorado over a 24–year period.
Nebraska adult prison admissions and releases, 1978–2002
Data management system
Colorado Department of Correctional Services has a correctional database that can be queried to identify offenders who participate in the Reentry Program. Local evaluation is planned at Denver's College of Public Affairs and Community Services. The University of Colorado is conducting the local evaluation.
Population type: Male adults
Number of targeted prisoners: 201+
Inclusion criteria: Ages 18–35, identified as "violent" by the Colorado Board of Parole, identified as "high risk" on assessment, with tentative release dates equal to or less than 5 years.
Exclusion criteria: Sex offenders, the severely mentally ill, and offenders serving life sentences.
Pre–release facilities: All State prisons
Post–release locations: Four Omaha zip codes: 68104, 68110, 68111, and 68131
Legal release status: Most participants will be under parole supervision, though offenders who are released at expiration of their sentences will not be automatically excluded.
- Increased enthusiasm
- Future expansion of the program throughout the State
• Participants are moved to a pre–release facility (Community Correctional Center Colorado) before release, where they receive specialized reentry services.
Phase 1: Institutionally–Based Programs
Duration: At least 1 year
Assessments: Risk assessment designed by the Colorado Board of Parole
Components/services offered within phase:
- Personalized Reentry Program Plan (PREPP), which is designed for each offender at the time of admission
- Participants are moved to a pre–release facility (Community Correctional Center—Denver) before release
- Case management
- Specific targeted services include, as needed, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, medical and dental services, life skills training, parenting skills training, domestic violence counseling, employment programs, education, housing assistance, anger management, and faith– based services
Coordination of services:
• One year prior to an offender's parole, the reentry team begins exploring community treatment and programming options. The team is made up of the prisoner, a case manager, law enforcement, the Parole Board, a parole officer, transition manager, treatment providers, community service providers, family and community members, and a representative from victim advocacy groups.
Phase 2: Community–Based Transition
Assessments: Ongoing risk assessment
Components/services offered within phase:
- PREPP revised
- Transition plan created
- Supervision program developed
- Specific targeted services include, as needed, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, medical and dental services, life skills training, parenting skills training, domestic violence counseling, employment programs, education, housing assistance, anger management, and faith– based services.
Coordination of services:
• Reentry team
Phase 3: Community–Based Long–Term Support
Duration: Up to 2 years
Assessments: Ongoing risk assessment
Components/services offered within phase:
- Revision of Reentry Plan to include services available after release from parole
- Assistance in finding employment
- Specific targeted services include, as needed, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, medical and dental services, life skills training, parenting skills training, domestic violence counseling, employment programs, education, housing assistance, anger management, and faith– based services
Coordination of services:
• Reentry team will change to consist of those community programs that have longevity and can provide services to offenders after release from parole.
OFFENDER REENTRY STUDY
The Homeless Release Project is a San Francisco–based program that attempts to demonstrate how a continuum of care affects homeless offender reentry. Below is a snap shot of statistical analysis done for the program.
Data Summary Points
While the experimental and comparison groups had similar prior San Francisco arrest histories, the experimental group showed a decrease in recidivism rates after participating in the Homeless Release Project.
Data summary table
The data support an increase in the number of offenders who had no police contact (arrests) after establishing contact with HRP: fifteen (or 37%) for the experimental group and eight (or 20%) for the comparison group.
The data support that the number of arraignments on new misdemeanor and felony cases decreased for HRP participants: eighteen for the experimental group and twenty-nine for the comparison group. We therefore conclude that the re-offense rate for the experimental group was 44%, and 71% for the comparison group.
The data support that re-offenders who participated in HRP were less likely to be arraigned on felonies: eight (or 55%) of the experimental group were arraigned on felonies and twenty-four (or 83%) of the comparison group were arraigned on felonies.
The data support that upon re-arrest, offenders in the experimental group were more likely to have their cases dismissed than the comparison group: seven discharges as compared to three.
COMMUNITY–BASED TREATMENT MODEL
Included in the previously cited Riker Study is a prototypical outline for a community treatment model. The segment for SJAC is to be the center of the circular support network. In this diagram, the rectangular box in the lower right indicates the measurable outcome.
SJAC staff members have a long history pursuing grants and federal funding for emergency shelters. Because the TLC qualifies as an emergency shelter, these funding opportunities are not included. The Department of Labor and the Department of Justice have been consistently announcing funding for offender reentry programs and should be noted as primary funding sources.
|Government grants||$ 66,000||$ 500,000|
|Other grants||$ 70,000|
|Unsolicited funds||$ 60,000||$ 20,000|
|Special events||$ 25,000|
|St. Vincent de Paul|
|Conferences — Churches||$ 1,000|
|St. Vincent de Paul Society||$ 0|
|Solicited funds||$ 103,700|
|Total||$ 328,200||$ 520,000|
|Executive director||$ 27,000||$ 45,000|
|Administrator / Accountant||$ 30,600||$ 40,000|
|Community programmer||—||$ 35,000|
|Full time staff 1||$ 73,000||$ 108,000|
|Full time staff 2||$ 73,000||$ 108,000|
|Payroll taxes||$ 17,500||$ 17,600|
|Employee benefits||$ 9,000||$ 9,000|
|Continuing education||$ 2,000||$ 3,000|
|Insurance||$ 12,000||$ 15,000|
|Vehicle operating expense||$ 5,000||$ 6,000|
|Professional fees||$ 6,000||$ 11,500|
|Fund raising expense||$ 15,000||$ 25,000|
|Administrative expense||$ 6,600||$ 7,000|
|Non-donated food||$ 2,500||$ 9,000|
|General family||$ 6,600||$ 8,600|
|HERO program||$ 8,000||$ 10,800|
|Buildings and grounds/repairs||$ 15,000||$ 17,000|
|Insects and rodents||$ 1,200||$ 1,500|
|Trash removal||$ 1,200||$ 1,500|
|Furniture and equipment||$ 1,000||$ 2,000|
|Utilities||$ 15,000||$ 17,000|
|Security||$ 1,000||$ 2,500|
|Total||$ 328,200||$ 500,000|
|Revenue||$ 328,200||$ 520,000|
|Expenses||$ 328,200||$ 500,000|
|Gain/loss||$ 0||$ 20,000|
Current balance sheet
|1000 • Security National Bank-checking||$33,521|
|1025 • Petty cash||$ 300|
|1040 • Security National Bank-grant||$ 20|
|1105 • Accounts Receivable - EMP||$ 360|
|Total checking/saving||$ 34,200|
|Other current assets|
|1056 • Securities–General Electric||$ 1,095|
|Total other current assets||$ 1,095|
|Total current assets||$ 35,295|
|1205 • Property and equipment||$ 29,411|
|1210 • Accumulated depreciation||–$ 19,887|
|1220 • Vehicles||$ 15,900|
|1230 • Accumulated depn–vehicles||–$ 15,900|
|1240 • Leasehold improvements||$ 25,255|
|1250 • Accumulated depn–leasehold||–$ 8,174|
|Total fixed assets||$ 26,604|
|Total assets||$ 61,900|
|Liabilities & equity|
|2010 • Accounts payable||–$ 125|
|Total accounts payable||–$ 125|
|Total current liabilities||–$ 125|
|Total liabilities||–$ 125|
|2275 • Net assets|
|2290 • Unrestricted net assets|
|Total 2275 • Net assets||$ 87,740|
|3000 • Opening bal equity||–$ 292|
|Net income||–$ 25,422|
|Total equity||$ 62,025|
|Total liabilities & equity||$ 61,900|