Ohio Reentry Resource Center
M.U.S.C.L.E resource guide that assists individuals with locating community resources and information to foster strong and safe communities.
M.U.S.C.L.E. is for everyone and may be useful to the following:
- Offenders and Individuals with a prior criminal history
- Families and Friends
- Volunteers and Mentors
- Community Partners and Social Service Agencies
- Case Managers, Parole & Probation Officers
- Residential and Non-Residential Program providers
The information available on M.U.S.C.L.E. consists of resources and information provided to offenders as they prepare for release from the institution. The Reentry Resource Guide is a comprehensive listing of community resources that can be accessed geographically. Click on the county and local information is provided.
Community agencies and service organizations that provide programming and services for this population and interested in being included in this directory should contact the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction may contact M.U.S.C.L.E. via e-mail at DRC.MUSCLE@odrc.state.oh.us
DRC takes on the challenge of Reentry
The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is taking on the many challenges associated with reentry. In July of 2002, Director Reginald A. Wilkinson issued a comprehensive report called The Ohio Plan for Productive Offender Reentry and Recidivism Reduction.
The plan represents the culmination of a major review of what is being done and what needs to be done, to support the successful return of offenders from prison to communities across Ohio. Efforts are now underway to implement the recommendations contained in the Ohio Plan.
Reentry Under the "Ohio Plan"
Reentry, under the "Ohio Plan," does not signify just "letting offenders go" after doing their time. It requires that offenders are prepared to be released. It means that they are better off at the time of release than at the time of their admission.
As part of the Ohio Plan, the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has adopted a new vision, mission, and slogan governing offender reentry.
Ohio’s system of reentry will provide opportunities for offenders to successfully connect as productive members of society. Through active partnerships with all stakeholders, reentry will contribute to safer communities and an enhanced quality of life.
The Reentry Initiative is a holistic and systematic approach that seeks to reduce the likelihood of additional criminal behavior. Beginning at sentencing and extending beyond release, reentry will assess, identify and link offenders with services specific to their needs. This will be accomplished through associations with community partners, families, justice professionals and victims of crime.
Reentry Means "Going Home to Stay"
At the core of DRC’s approach is the notion that reentry is a philosophy, not a program. Reentry calls for a broad systems approach to managing offenders returning to the community. It is a commitment that starts with the question: What is needed to prepare this offender for successful reentry?
The "Ohio Plan" contains forty-four recommendations targeting major areas in which reentry changes will be made. The recommendations cover changes in six major areas: offender assessments and reentry planning; offender programming; family involvement; employment readiness and discharge planning; offender supervision; and community justice partnerships.
Offender Assessments and Reentry Planning: The reception assessment process will be augmented under the new system of reentry to include a formal risk assessment and a needs assessment and a new case-planning tool known as the Reentry Accountability Plan. This will provide the core document guiding offender programming throughout their reentry transition.
Addressing Criminogenic Needs Through Offender Programming: Programming for offenders will target their criminogenic needs, that is, the dynamic risk factors of offenders that can change over time. DRC will develop a new policy incorporating the principles that drive effective correctional programming and evaluate existing programs relative to the extent to which they address the criminogenic needs of offenders.
Family Involvement in Reentry
DRC will develop new avenues for engaging families during an offender's incarceration through the adoption of a Family Orientation Program at all three Reception Centers, the formation of a Family Council, and innovative policy changes calling for greater family involvement during confinement and/or any period of community supervision that follows.
Employment Readiness and Discharge Planning: A new policy called "Transitioning the Offender" shall be adopted to ensure that thorough discharge planning takes place to prepare offenders for release to the community. Other innovative actions include the development of Reentry Resource Centers in each institution and parole region, career exploration programs for offenders, and enhanced marketing strategies for ex-offenders.
Reentry-Centered Offender Supervision: The Adult Parole Authority will be guided by a philosophy of supervision that adopts a balanced approach in working with offenders. Community collaboration will be secured through an expansion of Citizens’ Circles involving local citizens in the rehabilitative and reentry process. Linkages with institutional staff will be the established as well through reentry orientation sessions conducted by parole officers prior to an offender’s release.
Community Justice Partnerships
DRC has long embraced community justice as a governing framework. A new and critical focus is the creation of a Faith-Based Advisory Council. Regional councils will be formed within the larger Council and linked with the institutions and parole offices to establish viable connecting points across the prison-community divide. Victims’ safety planning needs will also be addressed under the "Ohio Plan" for designated higher risk offenders through the Office of Victims Services (OVS).
DRC’s commitment to reentry and the "Ohio Plan" is long-term. It speaks to a redirection that views reentry holistically, that is, as a philosophy governing changes in practice that impact each and every phase of the entire correctional process. The "Ohio Plan" represents a strategic plan and a dynamic document. As a dynamic document, it will be reviewed and revised periodically to ensure the long-term viability and success of the Department’s commitment to reentry.