Following a national model, the effort seeks to begin re-entry efforts the day an inmate enters prison rather than a few months before the offender is released.
....The MCORP concept launched a pilot project more than two years ago. The targeted population: prison inmates from selected communities in the state — Hennepin, Ramsey, Dodge, Fillmore and Olmsted counties. These counties are among those that annually send state prisons the most returning offenders.
The effort tries to reduce community-based probation officer caseloads, ramp up post-release supervision as well as provide housing, employment and social-support services. Bottom line: make the lockup-to-release support transition as seamless as possible.
Of 269 selected inmates, 175 were steered for MCORP interdiction. That included a host of jobs, education, chemical-dependency treatment, restorative justice and other post-release offerings. Most notably, perhaps, the program significantly reduced — by roughly half — the offender-release caseload handled by county probation officers.
In contrast, 94 offenders were selected as a control group to undergo existing offender-release referral efforts.
The outcome? Consider a preliminary in-house evaluation by Dr. Grant Duwe, the state prison system's research director.
- Lowered the risk of rearrest for a new offense by 37 percent.
- Decreased the risk of reconviction for a new crime by 43 percent.
- Reduced the risk of reincarceration for a new felony offense by 57 percent.
- MCORP increased the chances that an offender found employment within the first six months after release by 91 percent.
- MCORP offenders were about 17 times more likely than offenders in the control group to report having a source of social support.
- MCORP offenders were more than four times more likely to participate in mentoring, restorative justice circles or faith-based programming in the community.