7.2: Washington D.C Court Supervision and Offender Release Program
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Washington, DC Office on Aging the DC Court Supervision and Offender Release Program and the Washington, DC Office on Aging (the AAA) partnered to address older inmate reentry needs related to employment and housing. The program began several years ago as an ad hoc effort in response to tremendous demand to assist older offenders with reentry. The DC Office on Aging conducted comprehensive pre-screening of mental and physical health status of the participants in order to develop customized plans and partnered to provide job skills training and coaching. The program has now transitioned from the DC Office on Aging to the DC Office of Employment Services, so it can be integrated with other training and skills development programs such as the Senior Community Service Employment Program, the workforce program within the Older Americans Act.
Figure 7.1 CSOSA achieves high successful completion rates as a result of the combination of supports and close supervision and accountability strategies, including partnerships with local law enforcement partners. Image is in the Public Domain.
Because of the program, approximately 80 percent of participants were employed within a six-month period of reentry. Word-of-mouth has continued to increase enrollment. Families reach out proactively to the program to help pave the way when their loved one is released from prison, providing evidence that the community sees the value of this program. Challenges the program works to overcome include bringing participants’ job skills up to date, ensuring participants have photo identification, addressing needs of individuals who did not enter the country legally, and addressing mental health and substance abuse issues.