Governor Carney signs Executive Order #27 to improve reentry procedures for inmates

DELAWARE – Through a new effort, inmates will be getting the support they need to reenter into society.

It’s all part of Executive Order #27 signed by Governor John Carney that will allow the Department of Correction to help inmates the moment they walk into their facility.

76% of those who are released from DOC facilities are rearrested within three years. 68% of those released had a reconviction and 65% had a recommitment. Delaware’s percentage of probationers is approximately 46% higher than the national average and its percentage of incarcerated adults is approximately 12% higher than the national average.

About two years ago, the Criminal Justice Council received funding to take a hard look on how to improve reentry for inmates and design a blueprint. The blueprint is comprised of a strategic plan that looks at reentry as a process not a program.

This blueprint is divided into three phases. The first phrase is when the inmate is incarcerated where they will take an assessment. Jim Elder, the DOC’s Bureau Chief of Community Corrections says, “That assessment serves as a compass that allows us to create a transition accountability plan or a framework that works for that particular offender to target those risk factors to reduce that rate.”

We’re told the previous plan would start an offender’s reentry process at the end of their time, in the last six months. But now it will happen at intake.

The second phase is community confinement, where they will provide more resources and programs for that inmate based on their individual needs.

Commissioner Perry Phelps tells 47 ABC, “One of the gaps was cognitive based therapy, cognitive based treatment and we have been trying to fill that gap.”

The last phase includes the offender back in society, which is called community corrections. Their probation officer will use a system called EPICS, or effective practices in community supervision. It takes the traditional role of a probation officer and takes them as a referee to more of a coach. They will teach skills and help offenders be more successful when they leave.

And with this plan now at the forefront, Governor Carney made it official Tuesday afternoon, we’re told their work is already underway, as they’ve started classification and evaluating inmates.

Over 50 people have been involved in this comprehensive plan including the Department of Corrections, Department of Labor, Department of Housing, and non-profit organizations.

We’re told a success rate analysis needs to be done and a comprehensive report needs to be delivered by the end of 2020.

Categories: Delaware, Local News