Board Meeting Minutes from July 30, 2008

Lancaster County Reentry Management
Council Meeting - Community Action Program
9:00 a.m. - July 30, 2008

Present: Valerie Case, Linda Bird, Mary Steffy, Scott Sheely, Jon Singer, Patricia Dixon, Steven Morris, Lori Rank, Steve Brubaker, Carlos Graupera, Thomas Brownlee, Brian Wiczkowski, Pete Anders, Ebony Andersone, Robert Siemasko, Beth Bulat

Not Present: Mark Wilson, Kay Moshier McDivitt, Tina Ling, Jim Laughman, Scott Lapp, Rick Kastner, Kim Wittel, Lenny Walton, Jim Gratton, Gilbert Abney, Frank Koerber, Fowler Wyman

Guests: Jim Kalish, Mary Glazier, Harvey Haack, Ebony Anderson, Karen Andreadis, Adrian Rodriguez, Katie Winters, Lloyd Hoover

Meeting called to order - Scott Sheely

Moment of Silence

Minutes of May 28, 2008 meeting approved

Changes in By-Laws to Harmonize Terms, Change the Name, and Correct other Inconsistencies - Scott Sheely

Scott reviewed the proposed changes:

  • Sec. 3.9 change to read the terms of the officers be (3) years and an election to be held every (3) years at the last meeting of the fiscal year.
  • Sec. 4.1 the language will be changed to delete the phrase "officers may but need not, be directors of the RMO."
  • Delete term RMO in bylaws and replace it with council and this group to be the Board of Directors.

Motion to approve changes was made, seconded and approved.

Recommendation to the Commissioners: Follow up on Crime Summit- Scott Sheely

Notes from Crime Summit were reviewed and discussed:

  • Need to look at alternative ways of processing ex-offenders after release to assess their needs and get them services.
  • Mid Pen Legal did a one day needs assessment at CHOC using interns it may be possible to do establish a community based service using the Mid Penn project as a model..
  • Need an effective way to educate the unsentenced population (currently approximately 800 out of 1100 inmates) about the community services available and how to get connected upon release. Look for ways to apply the post sentence work that is currently being done to the pre-release work that needs to be done. This means increased connection with the established system.
  • There needs to be an increase in the number of Case Managers available to handle reentry. Currently (2) agencies providing four staff to handle the population at the prison.
  • Housing for ex-offenders upon release remains a serious concern. Crispus Attucks will be closing in a year; perhaps some of that funding can be applied to other housing options. A day center like CHOC that is open 24 hours or provides some housing could be an option. There are Federal funds out there to do what needs to be done, so it may be time to pursue more funding , such as the funds associated with the Second Chance Act.
  • Look for alternatives to incarceration as a way to reduce population. Perhaps a closer look at the incarcerated population and identify a segment that would be suitable for an alternative to incarceration.

The board agreed that the summary of the Crime Summit was informative and recommendations could be drawn from the summary. Everything comes to the need to increase services and the resources to fund the increase.

2008-09 Funding from County of Lancaster – Scott Sheely

Funding has been reduced to less than $150,000. This year a demonstration project is being done. The RFP is looking for services in the community and for Pre-release assessments. The RFP contains a list of services to be bid on. Providers are to submit an RFP by August 15th. This is a demonstration project that will be focusing on the sentenced population and looking closely at outcomes.

The original RFP has been revised to allow for case management services to be included in the cost of providers services and the to avoid confusion the original Case Manager role is now being referred to as Community Resource Coordinator.

Report and Recommendations of Ad Hoc Task Groups:

Service Collaboration - Harvey Haack

Harvey reviewed a handout summarizing Achievements, Issues and Recommendations.

  • Participation and support of the project exceeded expectations;
  • All providers signed service agreement;
  • Committee developed a way to discuss clients without violating their confidentiality;
  • The project was an excellent start and representative of working together;
  • Recommended that a case management review panel should be built into the RFP.

Benchmarking Recidivism - Mary Glazier

Mary handed out a report on recidivism. The researchers selected 577 cases from the files in Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas in 2000.

  • Demographics: 77.3% were male, average age was 30.75. The youngest was 18 and oldest was 74. 73.5% were Caucasian, 15.8% Black, 8.5% Hispanic and 1% Asian.
  • Offense Type: 13.2% or 76 of the 577 were convicted of a violent crime.
  • Prior Record Score: 72.4% or 380 offenders had a prior record score.
  • Recidivism: 57.4% were not recidivists. 74.8% of recidivists had committed a violation of probation or parole, while 25.2% had a new conviction.
  • Re-incarceration: 78.3% of the recidivists were re-incarcerated and 21.7% received an alternative to incarceration.
  • Relationship between recidivism and:
    • Sex: 45.1% were male and 34.4% female
    • Race: 39.6% white, 49.5% Black and 63.3% Hispanic
    • Age: Risk of recidivism increases until the age of 40 then level off. The highest rate of recidivism 77.8% was found to be among Hispanic males 30 and under and 60.0% in Hispanic males 31 and over.
    • Type of Supervision: There is a statistically significant difference in recidivism rates according to the type of supervision. Parole is supervision after sentence in served. Probation is completing sentence in the community. Recidivism rate for offenders on parole was 52.7%, rate for offenders on Probation was 38.5% and 14.3% for offenders on Intensive Probation and Parole (IPP).
    • Length of time until recidivism: Half of the recidivist offended in 329 days or less. The longest time to a offenders recidivated was 2063 days or more than 5 years. Many of the offenders' recidivated in 250 days to 500 days.

These statistics are informative but a small portion of what is going on, they do not represent the whole picture. Other factors need to be considered that were not captured in these stats, such as mental health issues, drug and alcohol, family relationships, employment or housing. How all these factors come together in any one case greatly influences the outcome.

Report and recommendations of Task Groups:

Housing and Finance - Lenny Walton

No Report

Education and Training - Scott Sheely

No report

Medical Issues - Val Case

Val reported on an article in the newspaper about the termination of Medical Assistance coverage when an individual is incarcerated. DPW is mandated to stop all medical benefits at incarceration.. Any benefits paid during incarceration will result in an overpayment which is just more debt the offender must pay upon release. The requested change is to not terminate MA benefits until day in court or sentencing. This change would create a reduction in the medical costs at the prison

Community Relations – Scott Sheely

The web site is being revamped and will include an events calendar.

Reports from Case Management Entities:

Transition To Community – Steve Morris

Steve shared his observations of relapse among clients. Believes that the pending success triggers relapse. Concerned about how to address this or see it in a client before it happens. There is need for more than a few months of care and housing, longer term supervised living situations are needed.

B.I.R.D. Ministries

Since November there have been approximately (7) deaths among female offenders, at least four involved drugs the others were drug lifestyle related. Aside from all the services needed strong healthy supportive relationships are a big factor to long term recovery and ultimate success through reentry. Every time a client relapses it offers the opportunity to learn more about what is needed.

Other Business:

No new business

Adjournment – Scott Sheely

Next Meeting
September 24, 2008
Community Action Program of Lancaster County, 601 S. Queen Street, Lancaster