The following press release from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was issued on February 22, 2013, to announce an exciting, and innovative initiative designed to reduce New York’s recidivism rate even further.
Interventions for High-Risk Inmates and Paying Contractors for Achieving Outcomes Should Yield 10 Percent Drop in Recidivism
Since 2001, City’s Incarceration Rate has Decreased by 32 Percent as Rest of Nation Increased by Five Percent
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs and Department of Correction Commissioner Dora B. Schriro today announced the Individualized Correction Achievement Network, an innovative jail-based community reentry program that is expected to reduce recidivism by 10 percent among inmates at highest risk of committing new offenses after their release. As the Mayor promised in his 2013 State of the City address – and advancing the Young Men's Initiative’s commitment to reducing disparities among justice-involved young black and Latino men – this program will target resources toward helping individuals who are discharged from jail stay out of jail.
For the first time, the City will pay non-profit providers based on their success in helping offenders get jobs, earn GED certificates and stay sober, instead of the former metric of reporting to appointments. This program aims to reduce even further the city’s unprecedented drop in incarcerations: since 2001 the city’s incarceration rate has been reduced by 32 percent, even as the rest of the country increased by five percent.
The Individualized Correction Achievement Network, referred to as I-CAN, will first be launched in four facilities – the Otis Bantam Correction Center, the Anna M. Kross Center, the Eric M. Taylor Center, and the Rose M. Singer Center – and expanded to the entire jail system by year’s end. By incorporating national best practices and evidence-based solutions into a program designed to reduce recidivism, the Correction Department will be able to marshal its reentry resources towards achieving better results. The Mayor made the announcement at the Otis Bantam Correction Center on Rikers Island where he was joined by Executive Director of the Osborne Association Elizabeth Gaynes and President & CEO of The Fortune Society JoAnne Page.
“In a groundbreaking effort to further reduce recidivism in New York City, and raise the bar for cities across the country, the Individualized Correction Achievement Network will both target resources toward the high-risk inmates that can benefit most from in-jail programming and incentivize the work of contractors to achieve the outcomes we all want to see,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “This is the first jail-based re-entry program model to combine best practices with a nationally validated, evidence-based assessment tool and pay-for-success program delivery.”
“By providing re-entry services designed to reduce future offenses in the local jail, the City is providing a justice model for the nation,” said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. “This program complements the Mayor's Young Men's Initiative and our commitment to reducing the disparities impeding the advancement of young black and Latino and men. For too long, leaving jail has been followed by returning to jail and providing New Yorkers with measurable tools for success, such as access to education, is critical to ending that vicious cycle.”
“We’re targeting the inmates who are most likely to be rearrested early in their incarceration, for discharge planning and preparation,” said Commissioner Schriro. “It’s critical that we use as much of their time in detention to turn them around and stop them from coming back to jail. Our fresh approach to tackling longstanding problems is going to make a measurable difference.”
Using an innovative data analysis tool called the Service Priority Level Instrument, which was developed by DOC and the nonprofit Vera Institute of Justice, the Individualized Correction Achievement Network (I-CAN) looks at standard administrative data associated with each inmate when he or she comes into custody – such as age, charges, and prior record – to identify those who both present a high risk of recidivism and are also likely to be in custody long enough to profit from services (at least 20 days). This allows DOC to channel re-entry services where they will be most effective.
Nationally recognized research shows that re-entry services work best for high-risk offenders and are ineffective or counterproductive when applied to low- and moderate-risk inmates. The high risk population (adults, 19 and older) currently has a one-year recidivism rate of 69 percent (compared to the 42 percent rate for the adult inmate population overall). The goal of the I-CAN program is to reduce that rate by 10% in the first year.
The New York City Department of Correction has contracted with two organizations that have strong histories of providing services to inmates in NYC jails: the Fortune Society and the Osborne Association. For each I-CAN participant, DOC will create a menu of billable items from which the contracted program provider may select consistent with the inmate’s assessed needs and risks. Billable milestones include: acquiring a valid state ID, earning a GED, preparation of a resume, job placement and job retention at monthly intervals, completion of culinary arts certification programs and achieving abstinence from substance use at monthly intervals. DOC will reimburse providers for the achievement of these milestones while participants are in jail and up to six months after the inmates have left DOC custody and continue to receive services in the community.
“Our experience and the experience of re-entry providers in jails and prisons across the country have shown how important it is to have a seamless and supportive transition from incarceration to needed services in the community,” said Fortune Society President JoAnne Page. “Using culturally competent staff to bring the interventions that work to the incarcerated men and women who are most likely to benefit is the right next step in reducing crime and creating hope for people caught up in the criminal justice system. The Fortune Society’s mission is to support successful reentry from prison and promote alternatives to incarceration, thus strengthening the fabric of our communities.”
“By providing these services to the targeted group of incarcerated individuals, we will show that it is never too early to intervene to help people make better choices moving forward,” said Executive Director of the Osborne Association Elizabeth Gaynes. “The Osborne Association has an 80-year history of working with currently and formerly incarcerated men, women, and children and provides a broad range of treatment, education, and vocational services to more than 7,000 people each year in New York State.”
The I-CAN approach builds on an historic decade of reductions in crime and recidivism in New York City. Since 2001, major felony crime in the city fell by 32 percent – a sharper decline than the rest of the nation – while the city’s incarceration rate also plummeted by 32 percent. In contrast, incarceration rates nationally actually increased by five percent. With a staff of approximately 8,850 uniformed officers and 1,700 civilian staff, the New York City Department of Correction provides care and custody for approximately 12,000 inmates (average daily population) in ten jails on Rikers Island and additional facilities in the boroughs of New York City.