Oct 2, 2013

The Magic of Case Conferencing at Harlem Reentry

The Harlem Reentry Team and Key Providers Deep in Case Conference
A hallmark of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court is the intensive communication that takes place between Parole Staff, Case Managers, and key providers of reentry services in Manhattan.  Such communication allows for immediate responses to non-compliance, creative problem solving that arises during treatment (or access to treatment), recognition of accomplishments, and increased transparency for all partners.  Although communication takes place all month long via smaller meetings, emails, phone calls, and case conferences, it reaches its apex at the monthly Macroteam Meeting.  At today's meeting representatives from CREATE Inc., Palladia CTI, Palladia CCT, Palladia UJIMA, and Narcofreedom came to the Justice Center to conference with the POs, Judge, and Case Managers at the Harlem Reentry Team.

Here are some of 3 examples of the magic of case conferencing at Harlem reentry:

-A Harlem Reentry Case Manager updated a client's parole officer that the client was about to be released from Edgecombe Correctional Facility, a 45 day correctional facility that provides intensive drug treatment and serves an alternative to a parole violation for drug users. Recently, the participant had tested positive for multiple substances and began spiraling out of control. The team determined that Edgecombe was the only safe option for the participant and the community. Earlier this week, the Case Manager visited the participant in Edgecombe to reconnect with the client and develop a discharge plan. The client thanked her, his PO, and the team for possibly saving his life and for caring for him.  At the meeting, the Case Manager confirmed that the client would return to his former housing, and to substance abuse treatment with his former counselor (also present at the meeting) on a more intensive outpatient basis. The Parole Officer also raised his supervision level to require him to report more regularly to the Center. Additionally, since the client is not ready for employment, the Case Manager recommended that the client begin a Fatherhood program  to address some of his feelings about his son in foster care as well as to fill his idle time. The team agreed to this plan, but the PO suggested that should the client test positive again, he might need to mandate him to a residential drug treatment placement.

-A Harlem Reentry Case Manager let the Reentry Court Judge and his Parole Officer know that a client had  been prematurely released from a detox facility. The facility that released him told the Case Manager that they had to discharge him because his insurance would not continue to pay for treatment without a court order. At the meeting, the Case Manager requested such an order from the Reentry Court judge, who obliged.  The client will be sent back to detox tomorrow.

-A Housing Counselor reported that after a case conference with a client and his Harlem Reentry Case Manager on site at the transitional housing program, the participant's behavior at the program vastly improved. At that meeting, the Housing Counselor and Harlem Reentry Case Manager met with the participant to address his aggressive behavior, discuss coping skills, and to conduct a goal setting workshop with him. The Housing Counselor also mentioned  the participant had really enjoyed volunteering at a graduation held by Harlem Reentry last week and that his focus and attendance at programming improved immediately after that experience. The team suggested that the Housing Counselor engage the participant in volunteer work at the housing site. The Housing Counselor thought that was a great idea. The Parole Officer said she would commend the client for his improved behavior and encourage his volunteer work.

One other aspect of the monthly meeting is the vetting of new providers.  Recently, the team identified the need for quality mental health treatment for participants who don't necessarily have an Axis 1 mental health diagnosis, but are still need of intensive mental health treatment, or at the least, a screening. One of our case managers, arranged for FEGS NYC Link to present at the meeting. During the presentation, it became clear that FEGS will become a key new player in Harlem Reentry.