Reentry starts the first day that someone arrives at IDOC. At IDOC, we believe that everything we do is about facilitating a person's successful return to the community after incarceration or after completing probation or parole. Idaho is safer when people who have had justice involvement are able to live crime free in the community.
We start by assessing a person's unique challenges and strengths, so we can tailor programs and interventions to best meet those needs. The goal is to have people access opportunities, such as education, vocational training and substance use disorder treatment, prior to their earliest possible release date.
For incarcerated individuals, reentry services ramp up as a potential release date moves closer. Our educational staff offer a pre-release course, that introduces life skills like budgeting, applying for work and discussing a felony conviction, and effectively engaging with a probation and parole officer, in the last few months of someone's incarceration. Additionally, people who are identified as having a high-level of needs (e.g., severe mental illness, lack of housing) or who are at high-risk to reoffend, are referred to a reentry specialist.
Reentry specialists help bridge the gap from prison to the community by working with prison-based case managers, and with probation and parole officers, to build a comprehensive case plan that helps meet the individual's needs. Reentry specialists typically work with people for about 90 days after they are released to the community. However, if a person has a sudden change (e.g., a person on parole has lost their housing), reentry specialists can assist in finding new resources. IDOC is currently working to add reentry specialists to each probation and parole district office.