The Transitional Services Program is a three-phase program designed to assist in preparing individuals for return to their community. Additional activities have been developed to assist as they transition within the correctional system.
Transitional Services is operated in accordance with Transitional Services Directive #4780. The program is conducted primarily out of the Transitional Services Center under the supervision of a Transitional Service Counselor.
Goals include assisting individuals throughout the stages of incarceration to fully participate in programs designed to prepare them for a successful reentry as law abiding and productive citizens.
Phase One is the Introductory Phase provided to all entering the state correctional system. It consists of the following courses:
- Relating to the correctional situation
- Maintaining significant relationships and positive community ties
- Developing work ethics
- Decision making
- Goal setting and time management
- Socialization skills
Participation is required for all individuals upon arrival at their first general confinement facility.
The goal of Phase One is to assist incarcerated individuals with transitioning to incarceration and to begin preparing them for successful reentry to the community as law abiding and productive citizens.
The incarcerated population is required to participate in and complete Phase One. All individuals will complete Phase One once during their incarceration.
Phase Two --Thinking for a Change (T4C) Program -- is an integrated, cognitive behavioral change program designed for incarcerated individuals and delivered by trained staff in small group (12-15 participants) settings.
The program is closed-ended and intended for the general population. It includes cognitive restructuring and developing social and problem-solving skills. Participants learn how to take change of their lives by taking control of their thoughts and feelings.
T4C is a close-ended program consisting of three major components:
- Cognitive Self Change: Participants learn that by paying attention to their thoughts and feelings, they can discover which ways of thinking and feeling cause trouble for them and others. In addition, they learn that their core beliefs and attitudes impact how they think and feel.
- Social Skills: Participants learn skills that are used in situations involving interaction with other people. Good social skills get people what they want, as well as maximize positive responses and/or minimize negative responses from other people. Through role play, participants practice social skills and new ways of thinking that can steer them away from trouble.
- Three Steps of Problem Solving:
- Stop and Think: Keeping control of situations by thinking rather than by acting on emotions. Participants learn to identify thoughts, emotions and physical reactions that tell them they are in a problem situation (warning signs) and it is time to be quiet, calm down and get some space to stop and think.
- Problem Description: Participants learn to describe problems in objective terms and identify their risk reaction to those situations. They identify how their thoughts, feelings and physical sensations pose a risk of reacting in a way that makes the problem worse.
- Getting Information: Setting goals, participants practice gathering information about a situation by considering the objective facts, others’ thoughts and feelings, and their own beliefs and opinions. They use the information to state goals and to determine the preferred outcome of those situations.
Phase Three is designed to assist in planning for reentry into society as crime free, productive citizens. Participants receive a "portfolio" to assist in organizing documents, such as birth certificates, social security cards, and resumes. They keep vocation and education certificates in one place, locating reentry strategies and plans, and preserving service referral information and employment related materials. The curriculum calls for them to prepare for Departmental staff to evaluate the following:
- A release portfolio that will include vital documents, education and vocational training history, and a functional resume.
- An examination of barriers to family relationships and a written plan that addresses issues likely to arise when returning to their family environment.
- A "mock job interview" exercise to practice interviewing skills that also involve responding to difficult questions. In addition, they will learn how to dress for success and tailor their resume by matching skill sets acquired to meet the job description, etc.
- A realistic six-month "job search plan" using their Education Achievement and Employability Profile Report as a tool/resource in preparing functional resumes and responding to an employer’s job application.
- A "recreation plan" to address personal wellness issues and family reintegration concerns.
- Attendance: All sessions
- Pre- and post exams
- Participation: Quantity and quality of interaction
- Outcomes: Secure legal documents, including social security card, birth certificate and, where appropriate, marriage license, DD214 for veterans
- Develop a life action plan: Phases One, Two and Three
- Develop a concrete release plan based on life plan
- Develop an employment portfolio, resume, cover letter, certificates, and letters of reference from the community
- Utilize the Resource Room
This program is operated in all facilities with modified versions at specialized facilities.