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Collaborative Development of Individual Discharge Planning for Incarcerated Women, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2000
220 pages
This report describes and evaluates the intensive discharge planning process established by the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) Women’s Facility.
The RIDOC program aimed to break the cycle of recidivism and improve the lives of inmates and their children and families. The program involved individual planning that included opportunities to take part in a menu of 12 interventions that addressed drug abuse, life skills, job training and education, and mental health. The research considered whether concept of each individual’s readiness to change illegal behaviors, based on the Transtheoretical Model of Change, would be useful to individual discharge planning. The study assessed the impact of RIDOC interventions on recidivism, quantified outcomes of the discharge planning process, and considered whether a simple assessment procedure could facilitate discharge planning. The study collected survey data from 234 women soon after sentencing, 106 women within 2 weeks of anticipated release, and 45 women 3 months after release. The prison database provided information on incarcerations, sentences, or parole violations over the 6 months following release. Results revealed that the RIDOC programs generally matched the assessed needs of the women and appeared to produce some positive changes, including increased confidence in skills and reduced drug abuse, particularly considering the seriousness of problems at entry. However, consistent with other results, no programs in themselves were able to reduce recidivism. Findings indicated the need for supervised transition settings safe from violent partners and with opportunities to practice skills learned in prison. Findings also indicated that the readiness-to-change approach can inform choices about programming, but should not be a tool for deciding whether a women takes part in programming or is ready for release. Appended tables, instruments, background information, and 53 references

Date Published: December 1, 2000