When implemented to the greatest benefit, the re-entry process begins at intake. Initial assessment (PIT) and immediate attention to documentation needs (i.e. identification, social security card, birth certificate, DD-214, etc.) begins the re-entry process proactively. Thus, reducing redundancy and quickly identifying at-risk inmates for programming and services. Targeting highest risk offenders will have the most impact in reducing recidivism. The importance of targeted and individualized case management at our facilities is the heart of the success of the re-entry process. We must all embrace the notion that change and innovation are positive and necessary if we are going to be successful in reducing recidivism in Nevada. We must also believe that people can change if given the opportunity and resources.

One crucial step in creating the needed changes and innovations within NDOC is effective staff training on assessment instruments (NRAS) and positive culture change (CCP). Additionally, training staff to facilitate Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) groups is another system-wide initiative that will help reduce recidivism. MRT has been successfully implemented across several states in our country and internationally in more than ten countries.  Over a thirty year span, MRT has been shown to reduce recidivism by up to 30%. Effective staff training on assessment instruments, up-to-date correctional behaviors and effective cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques will help us all to achieve our recidivism reduction goals in Nevada.   

At present, many correctional case workers feel stress and, at times, burned out by excessive caseloads with seemingly endless work.  These changes in the case management process aim to reduce workloads for better quality services. By targeting those most at-risk early in the process, case management can be more targeted and individualized. Having documentation available immediately on an automated system (NOTIS) will reduce redundancies and increase efficiency in case management. These improvements should be welcomed, not feared as “another duty piled on my already hectic workday.” When the process changes are in place, case workers should see a notable reduction in redundancy and a more efficient, coordinated and cohesive case management process.

In the big picture, taking NDOC into the 21st century by improving processes, creating automation, cohesive planning and delivery, and revision of some classifications will benefit us all as employees and our clients by providing offenders the services, resources, skills and behavioral modification needed to go back into our community and be successful. Our staff will feel a stronger sense of purpose and achievement and ex-offenders will recidivate less in Nevada.