May 10, 2007
DOC PROGRAMS TO REHABILITATE INMATES
By: Christopher Reinhart, Senior Attorney
You asked about Department of Correction (DOC) programs to rehabilitate inmates; what non-profit agencies are involved, specifically whether there are Houses of Healing and Power Source programs; and whether there is evidence that these types of programs reduce recidivism.
DOC has many programs aimed at rehabilitating inmates. These include education, substance abuse treatment, and job training. A compendium of all DOC programs and services and their providers is available on DOC's website (see link below).
The compendium does not list Power Source as a provider but indicates that Houses of Healing offers a 12-session program at York Correctional Institution, which houses female inmates. This program helps inmates identify, express, and manage their feelings. It fosters self-understanding and emotional and spiritual growth along with encouraging responsibility and accountability to oneself and others. It is described as a religious, self-improvement type program.
In recent years, legislation required DOC to develop strategies to help inmates reintegrate into the community after leaving prison. Attached is information on DOC's re-entry model. Also attached is an OLR Report (2001-R-0698) on DOC educational and mental health programs, the most recent annual report on DOC educational programs (2005-2006), and DOC's most recent annual report (2006).
We did not find a study specifically on the effect of these programs but a recent study found that inmates who are supervised after release from prison had a lower reconviction rate than those merely discharged from prison at the end of their sentence. This study was conducted in 2006 by DOC and Central Connecticut State University's Institute for the Study of Crime and Justice. The study looked at inmates released from DOC facilities and supervision during 2000 and found an overall reconviction rate of 39%. The study lists three primary findings:
1. the reconviction rate of inmates released after completing their prison sentence was consistent with Connecticut and national research and the reconviction rate for parolees and inmates released to transitional supervision were lower than in the 2001 study by the legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee;
2. inmates on probation after leaving prison had a lower likelihood of reconviction than inmates who left prison at the end of their sentence without supervision; and
3. few factors were found that would predict which inmates would be reconvicted after release from prison, with the most significant being the type of release.
A full copy of the report is attached.
DOC's Compendium of Programs and Services for Offender Population, (http://www.ct.gov/doc/cwp/view.asp?a=1492&Q=265596), last visited May 10, 2007.
OLR Report 2001-R-0698, Prison Educational and Mental Health Programs, (http://www.cga.ct.gov/2001/rpt/olr/htm/2001-r-0698.htm).
Connecticut Department of Correction, Unified School District #1, Annual Performance Report 2005-2006, http://www.ct.gov/doc/lib/doc/PDF/PDFReport/EducationStatistics0506.pdf, last visited May 10, 2007
A Study of Reconviction Rates of Discharged Inmates from the Connecticut Department of Correction, http://www.ct.gov/doc/lib/doc/pdf/recidivismstudy.pdf, last visited May 10, 2007.
Connecticut Department of Correction 2006 Annual Report, http://www.ct.gov/doc/lib/doc/PDF/PDFReport/annualreport2006.pdf, last visited May 10, 2007.