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Reentry program supports residents in restrictive housing

by Carol Pitts last modified Mar 23, 2022 09:26 AM
A new Adult Intensive Reentry (AIR) program at El Dorado and Lansing correctional facilities for residents in restrictive housing is up and running, thanks to a federal grant received in late 2020 and approval of the plan earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Justice.

AIR combines individualized case planning that identifies and addresses barriers to reentry (education, employment, housing, etc.) and group sessions teaching skills such as emotional regulation and problem solving.

The program has been developed by KDOC in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute (UCCI). The four-year grant supports this innovative program in Kansas, described by the Department of Justice and UCCI e as a unique and first of its kind approach.

Staff assigned to the restrictive living units and new staff hired to deliver case management and programming have all been trained in an evidence-based model as part of the preparation for launching the program.

While conducting research for the project, KDOC found that while the overall recidivism rate was just over 32% in the most recent reports, the recidivism rate for residents who spent time in restrictive housing at El Dorado or Lansing within six months of their release to the community was over 10% higher, at around 43%.  

This underscores the need to increase programming opportunities for this segment of KDOC residents where opportunities are often limited.

“Initiating steps to assist these residents in successfully returning to the community is good for the resident and good for the neighborhood in which they will be living upon their release,” said Kansas Secretary of Corrections Jeff Zmuda.

Detailed metrics have been established with outcomes identified to measure the success of this project.

“I believe this approach will become a model for our other facilities, and other corrections agencies, on how to help create an environment for change and well-being,” said Zmuda. “The AIR program clearly presents us with an opportunity to improve public safety.”

Related Story: 

Governor Kelly Announces $996,679 in Grants for Corrections Reentry Initiatives - Governor of the State of Kansas

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