Evidence-Based Rehabilitation Programs Focus of March Reentry Commission Meeting

On Tuesday, March 15, leaders from State of Alabama entities met for the monthly Commission on Reentry meeting. The Commission focused on rehabilitation programs, welcoming multiple guests and continuing to encourage interested parties to view the Changing the Course art exhibition. The exhibition is on display until April 15, located in the Alabama Department of Archives and History building at 624 Washington Avenue in Montgomery.

Alabama Commission on the Evaluation of Services Assistant Director Patrick Dean presented a list and cost analysis of evidence-based programs which are typically delivered within the adult criminal justice system. This information can help agencies self-identify whether a specific program should be administered by a state agency. Additionally, the Commission on Evaluation has begun working on other social programs with evidence of recidivism reduction.

The Committee unanimously agreed to request further studies from Commission on Evaluation specific to the services delivered by State of Alabama agencies and entities participating in the Reentry Commission.

The Commission on Reentry also welcomed One Place Director of Hope Initiatives Kelly Klehm for an informative presentation services One Place provided. This organization provides coordinated services to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Klehm also spoke on Camp Hope America-Alabama, a summer camp and mentoring program for children impacted by domestic violence. Members of the commission hope to better unify organizations providing similar services, leading to greater efficiency. Doing so could also reduce recidivism, as many justice-involved individuals charged with domestic violence crimes are supervised by Alabama law enforcement agencies. More on One Place can be found here.

Additionally, Christie Caruana from the TROY-Tutwiler Garden Program presented information on the therapeutic aspects of the program. The organization provided 13 pieces of art and programs for Changing the Course exhibition which happened on March 15. More information can be found here.

Members of the Commission include Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner John Hamm, Ingram State Technical College President Annette Funderburk, Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner Kimberly Boswell, Senator Will Barfoot, and Representative Connie Rowe, along with leaders from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs, the Alabama Department of Labor, the Alabama Department of Human Resources, Medicaid, and the Governor’s Office. The primary goal of the Commission, adapted from Section 3 of Alabama Senate Bill 221, is identifying, implementing, and promoting evidence-based research, policies, strategies, and programming to support successful reentry and reintegration.

Alabama Commission on the Evaluation of Services Assistant Director Patrick Dean speaking.
Commission on Reentry sharing strategies for reducing recidivism in Alabama.