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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 230205 Find in a Library
Title: Minnesota County Mentors Juveniles and Provides Reentry Services
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:71  Issue:6  Dated:December 2009  Pages:54-57
Author(s): Jeffrey Bouffard; Kathleen Bergseth; Shelley Ford
Date Published: December 2009
Page Count: 4
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the features and reports on the effectiveness of Clay County's (Minnesota) Reentry Services Project (RSP), whose transitional coordinators (TCs) work in partnership with probation officers to provide both surveillance and mentoring services to youth transitioning from correctional facilities back into the community.
Abstract: The recognized need for a comprehensive reentry program stemmed from the difficulty county juvenile probation agents had in providing an intensive level of case management services for offenders transitioning from out-of-home placement facilities. This difficulty resulted from high caseloads, the rural nature of Clay County, placement facilities' distance from the county, and probation officers' other job duties and responsibilities. Juveniles returning to Clay County after spending at least 3 weeks in some type of out-of-home placement are eligible for the RSP. TCs assist in linking youths and their families to needed community-based services. TCs also have a designated mentoring role. In January 2004, an advisory committee was formed to oversee and provide guidance to the program. The committee of 24 meets quarterly and is composed of nonprofit service providers; parents; and community partners from schools, law enforcement, and social services. An external, objective evaluation of the RSP’s operation focused on both short-term and longer term outcomes. RSP participants had only a 34-percent positive drug test rate compared to just over 62 percent for those without enhanced reentry services. Participants in the RSP also showed improvement over time in their scores on a standardized risk screening tool. In addition, RSP participants were 42 percent less likely to experience a new criminal conviction during the 6-month follow-up period; and they showed a marginally significant improvement in the length of time until their first criminal conviction compared to those in the comparison county where such services were not available. 6 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile reintegration
Index Term(s): Interagency cooperation; Juvenile Corrections/Detention effectiveness; Mentoring; Minnesota; Post-release programs; Rural area studies; Rural corrections; Services effectiveness
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