photo - courtroomGuiding Principles for Reentry Courts and Programs

Tailor The Reentry Court And Program To Your Community
Tailor the reentry court model for your jurisdiction to suit the individual legal, political and community context.

Marshal Key Stakeholders And Involve Them In Planning

  • Bring the appropriate key stakeholders together (e.g., law enforcement, correctional facilities, mental health and substance abuse treatment, domestic violence counseling, financial assistance, educational assistance, vocational and employment assistance, clothing assistance, food bank, housing assistance, transportation assistance, faith-based community sponsorship, etc.).

  • Ask them for their input in resolving reintegration problems.

Know The Resources In Your Community

  • Become familiar with the reentry programs available to alcoholics in your community. Identify what age groups each program targets.

  • Gain understanding of the specifics of the reentry program and its effectiveness. Identify which programs are residential and which operate on an outpatient basis. Define whether the program offers other services such as educational support, job placement, and other social services.

  • Consider making participation in a reentry program a condition of probation and/or parole for appropriate individuals. To ensure you understand the nature of the programs, personally visit them.

Conduct An Independent Evaluation Of The Programs’ Success

  • Establish performance standards for the programs that you use.

  • Ensure that an independent evaluator establishes the efficacy of the programs.

Ensure Assessment Of Offender’s Specific Needs

  • Ensure that the reentry program uses the appropriate assessment instruments (e.g., ASI, AUDIT, CAGE, DRI, MAST, SALCE, SASSI) to identify the offender’s specific needs.

  • Oversee the program and meet with reentry staff members periodically
    to check on the matching systems they use.

Learn About Programs That Target Specific Minority Groups
Ascertain which reentry programs target specific ethnic groups and be sensitive to the possibility that different racial groups may require different treatment approaches due to cultural differences and/or language differences.

Stay Involved

  • Once you have ordered the individual to participate in a program, set a future court date to assess the individual’s compliance.

  • Positively reinforce good behavior and provide sanctions when the individual fails to comply with the program’s requirements.