The Reentry Court-How It Works:
Discharge Planning: Justice Center Staff begins conducting in-reach with clients in the facility in which they are incarcerated up to 3 months prior to their release. During this time, staff orient clients into the program, assess their needs, assist them in the creation of a reentry plan, ensure proper discharge planning, and outreach family members when appropriate.
Hearings & Reporting : After release, Reentry Court participants appear regularly at the Justice Center to report on their progress with treatment and parole conditions (such as finding employment or enrolling in school) to their Parole Officer and the Reentry Court Judge. To promote compliance and reinforce good behavior, the Justice Center uses a system of graduated negative and positive responses. For instance, a Parole Officer may tighten the curfew of an individual who has failed to be present at the home during a curfew check. Conversely, a client who has accomplished a goal, such as getting his first interview or regularly attending drug treatment may be celebrated publically in court and given a reward.
Case Management & Counseling: Case Managers and Social Work Staff meet with clients regularly to support them through the integration process, provide access to services, ensure quality of services being provided by community partners, target criminogenic needs, work with family members, and help the client manage his relationship with his parole officer. Reentry Clinical Staff are trained to use Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approaches.
Coordinated Services: The Justice Center emphasizes early identification of parolees' needs and speedy links to programs that deal with concerns that may affect successful community reintegration. To improve service delivery, Justice Center staff, parole officers and service providers convene regular case conferences. When appropriate, parole officers and reentry court staff will meet with the family members of parolees to encourage their assistance and support.
The Justice Center has access to both on-site and community-based vocational and treatment services.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: The Harlem Community Justice Center offers the evidenced based, 22 session, cognitive behavioral therapy program, “Thinking for a Change,” for clients who have been assessed to be at a high risk of reoffending. The “Thinking for a Change” curriculum helps individuals with social skills and problem solving skills, as well as cognitive restructuring and self-change.