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.