Milwaukee Safe Street PRI offered case management, access to vocational training, and other services to help prepare justice-involved adults for their release from prison.
Six months before justice-involved adults were scheduled for release from prison, individuals were transferred to one of two facilities in Racine, WI. In these facilities, social workers would provide case management workups, which included an assessment of needs; risks; child support; credit; and personal documentation issues, such as a lack of driver’s license or Social Security number. In addition, participants were offered a vocational-skills assessment, access to soft-skills and vocational training, and an opportunity to participate in restorative justice circles to discuss the suffering caused by the crime they had committed. Participants were also expected to participate in the Breaking Barriers cognitive-reality curriculum, a life-skills and behavioral change program designed to increase self-efficacy, goal achievement, and personal accountability. Thirty days before release, participants met with a coordinated-care team, which included a social worker and job coach, to help ensure participants had suitable plans for housing, transportation, personal documentation, and a job search following their release. Individuals were also offered alcohol and drug treatment, remedial education services, and guaranteed access to what were called “reach-in services” from the Community Corrections Employment Program. These services included assistance with finding jobs, work experience, training, and education vouchers. A typical participant participated in the program for 6 months before release from prison and 12 months thereafter. Individuals were eligible to participate in the program if they were male; were age 35 or younger; were scheduled for release to Milwaukee, WI, with at least six months of community supervision; and had a history of violence or gang involvement. Sex offenders were not eligible. PRI was implemented in correctional and transitional facilities in Racine, WI, and in participants’ communities in Milwaukee, WI.