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Preparing Prisoners for Returning Home: A Process Evaluation of West Virginia's Offender Reentry Initiative

NCJ Number
Stephen M. Haas Ph.D.; Cynthia A. Hamilton M.S.; Dena Hanley Ph.D.
Date Published
73 pages
This fourth and final report on the process evaluation of West Virginia's Offender Re-entry Initiative (WVORI) summarizes findings from the three previous reports and presents results of additional analyses conducted based on official records contained in the Inmate Management Information System of the West Virginia Department of Corrections.
Based on both correctional staff surveys and responses from inmates, the process evaluation concluded that the staff was not fully committed to the goals of the new initiative. Moreover, some of the findings suggest a lack of staff effort to integrate evidence-based practices into the delivery of services. A key finding of the process evaluation was that correctional staff might not be using the Levels of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) as intended by the WVORI program planners. Many of the staff were not referring to specific LSI-R assessment outcomes when developing treatment plans and were not committed to assessing offender progress. Based on the collective results of the evaluation, it is clear that correctional staff's attitudes and orientations are directly related to their level of support for the reentry initiative. The evaluation also found that as correctional staff became more service-oriented and less punitive toward inmates, they also became more supportive of the WVORI and its core components. According to official records, only 44.4 percent of prisoners had received some type of transitional service program prior to release; however, there was evidence that work release centers might be providing more and better reentry services. Based on the findings of this process evaluation, recommendations are offered for ways to improve the implementation of WVORI and its delivery of services. 11 figures, 5 tables, 6 graphs, and appended WVORI forms and instruments