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Collaborative Development of Individual Discharge Planning for Incarcerated Women (1/1/97-12/31/98, extended to 12/31/99)

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2000
5 pages
Publication Series
A collaboration between the University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) evaluated the intensive discharge planning process used for female inmates in Rhode Island.
The individual discharge planning at the RIDOC Women’s Facility used a menu of 12 programs developed by RIDOC staff or contracted from community agencies. Programs included education and job training programs, drug abuse interventions, groups and classes to meet emotional and social needs, and health programs. The project adapted the Transtheoretical Model of Change approach to examine whether knowing an individual’s readiness to change their illegal behaviors could inform discharge planning. Information for the evaluation came from surveys of 105 women surveyed soon after sentencing and within 2 weeks of release. The first survey gathered information on background and previous experiences, perceived needs, psychosocial status, and readiness to change. The second survey gathered information on program participation, satisfaction, outcomes in terms of readiness to change and confidence in life skills, and post-release needs. Results revealed that programs offered to the incarcerated women were well attended and appeared to produce some positive changes such as increased confidence in skills and reduced drug abuse, particularly considering the seriousness of problems at entry. However, problems at release could overwhelm changes made prior to release. Findings indicated that many women who were recidivists were generally unequipped to deal with the routine stress of daily life in the community and would require strong support after release. Findings indicated the need for supervised transition settings safe from violent partners, opportunities to practice skills learned in prison, and mental health services. Findings also indicated that the readiness-to-change approach could inform choices about programming, but decisions about participation should not rest on the individual’s stage. 5 references

Date Published: December 1, 2000