Division of Criminal Justice Services

County Re-Entry Task Force Initiative

The goal of New York State’s re-entry strategy is to reduce recidivism and promote community safety. To that end, DCJS partners with the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) to support County Re-Entry Task Forces (CRTFs) in 20 counties: Albany, Bronx, Broome, Dutchess, Erie, Kings, Monroe, Nassau, New York, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Orange, Queens, Rensselaer, Rockland, Schenectady, Suffolk, Ulster, and Westchester. Staff of the Vocation/Education, Employment and Re-Entry (VER) Unit within the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives at DCJS provide training, technical assistance and support to the Task Forces.

Task Forces coordinate and manage services provided to individuals who are returning to their communities after serving a state prison sentence and determined to be at moderate or high risk of reoffending. CRTFs provide access to services and assistance that allows individuals to transition home and remain crime-free by focusing on stabilization needs, service coordination and the provision of cognitive behavioral interventions and/or employment readiness programs.

To achieve state and local re-entry goals, CRTFs conduct strategic planning to develop effective approaches to serving individuals, build local capacity to meet service needs, identify gaps in services and assess the effectiveness of the county’s re-entry system for consistency with principles of effective practice, which includes the use of Motivational Interviewing techniques, cognitive behavioral approaches; positive reinforcement; and engagement in ongoing, pro-social support; among others.

CRTFs also engage formerly incarcerated individuals and their families and the greater community to encourage participation in re-entry planning and programming through activities including, but not limited to public awareness campaigns; mentoring programs; community forums on relevant topics and panel discussions featuring re-entry stakeholders; and outreach to employers and the business community.

Co-Chairs

Each County Re-Entry Task Force has two co-chairs: 

  • The chief elected county official, such as the chair of the Board of Supervisors or County Executive, or their designee from a county agency, such as the probation director, mental health commissioner, district attorney, or social services commissioner.
  • A designee of DOCCS, who is responsible for referring individuals to CRTFs for case management and ensuring coordination among DOCCS facility staff, Parole field staff and the Task Force. Parole officers are responsible for the court-mandated supervision of individuals released from state correctional facilities to ensure their compliance with conditions of release.

The co-chairs oversee the work of the CRTF Coordinator, who is responsible for the day-to-day Task Force operations in each county.

Coordinator

The coordinator serves as the liaison to DOCCS and DCJS and oversees the day-to-day functions of the CRTF by:       

  • Promoting the task force’s role as a referral agent that connects re-entry clients with needed services;
  • Engaging state and local partners to provide benefits, services and community-level support that address the criminogenic and stabilization needs of task force clients;
  • Coordinating services to individuals and assisting with the development of individual re-entry service plans to ensure participants are receiving services deemed critical for success;
  • Conducting re-entry service plan reviews, with CRTF participants, and document progress;
  • Ensuring the delivery of cognitive behavioral intervention and/or employment readiness services;
  • Scheduling, convening and facilitating bi-monthly meetings of the County Re-entry Task Force and bi-weekly meetings of its Case Conferencing Committee, documenting their activities; and providing a schedule to DCJS of these meetings upon request;
  • Organizing outreach and educational events; and
  • Monitoring performance targets and ensure appropriate documentation and reporting to DCJS, among other responsibilities.

For a current list of CRTF Coordinators by county and their contact information, please contact OPCA at (518) 485-2395.

Membership

Re-entry Task Force membership varies, as the needs of returning individuals and available system resources are different across these communities. Members include:

  • County Social Services Commissioner or New York City Department of Homeless Services and Human Resource Administration, or their designee;
  • County health, mental health, motor vehicles, probation, veterans’ services, district attorney’s office, court representatives, and/or the county legislature;
  • State representatives from Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), Adult Career and Continuing Education Services/Vocational Rehabilitation District Offices (ACCES-VR), Office of Mental Health, Economic Development Councils, SUNY Educational Opportunity Centers;
  • State Department of Labor’s Career Center and County Workforce Investment Boards;
  • Direct service providers and community-based organizations with particular emphasis on those who (a) utilize a cognitive-behavioral approach to treatment services; (b) deliver services which address criminogenic needs; (c) deliver services which address significant stabilization needs; and (d) provide job readiness assistance;
  • Law enforcement officials, including those whose agencies participate in the state’s Gun Involved Violence Elimination Initiative (GIVE); and professionals working with the state’s SNUG Street Outreach program and state-supported Crime Analysis Centers, if appropriate;
  • Individual(s) formerly under DOCCS supervision;
  • Victim assistance and advocacy organization(s);
  • Local housing authority and programs;
  • Local research partners, educators and academia;
  • Representatives from the business community;
  • Health Homes providers; and
  • Mentoring and peer support services.

CRTF Activities Report

Quarterly Activity Report, County Re-entry Task Forces, July – September 2018 This report describes the four quarters of program activity by the 20 CRTFs statewide during the period January

Quarterly Activity Report, County Re-entry Task Forces, January – March 2017 (6/17). This report describes the four quarters of program activity by the 19 CRTFs statewide during the period January – March 2017.

NYS Vocation and Education Resource Map


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