Program Goals/Target Population
The Auglaize County Transition (ACT) Program is one of the Nation’s first jail reentry programs. The goal of the program is to reduce recidivism of jail inmates once they reenter the community, and thus the program addresses the numerous problems faced by inmates during reentry, such as medical and mental health issues, job placement, or drug and alcohol addiction. The ACT Program relies on case managers that link inmates to resources that can appropriately deal with these issues, both in the community and in jail.
Auglaize County is a rural Ohio county located between Detroit and Cincinnati, with a population of approximately 46,000 residents. The ACT Program operates in the Auglaize County Correctional Center (ACCC), a full-service, 72-bed jail that holds both felony and misdemeanant pretrial, presentenced, and sentenced inmates for up to 18 months. Of the approximately 1,200 inmates that enter ACCC every year, more than half will be released within 72 hours. Of the remaining 600, about 200 inmates will actively participate in facility programming, including the ACT Program.
Immediately upon entering ACCC, correctional staff perform intake assessments, in which inmates report any problems or issues that may require treatment or services. Case managers review every inmate’s assessment and design a Reentry Accountability Plan based on inmates’ individual needs to assist them both during their time in jail and after their release. On top of reducing recidivism, the ACT Program strives to ensure that program participants meet the conditions of the Reentry Accountability Plans, through conducting drug screenings, monitoring program attendance, and conducting compliance reports.
Because the program works on a philosophy of providing individualized treatment to program participants, there are a variety of services and treatment options available to participants. These include employment placement, drug and alcohol treatment, mental health counseling, and education support (e.g., General Educational Development [GED] programs). Other treatment services—the majority of which are available to participants in jail—available through the ACT Program include Moral Reconation Therapy, Bible study/church services, anger management, Alcoholics Anonymous (or AA), and life skills training. In addition to access to these services, inmates meet with their case managers, who provide individualized, face-to-face monitoring.
Once a program participant is released from ACCC, case managers work with the Ohio Adult Parole Authority or the Municipal Court Probation Department to coordinate a transition plan that ensures aftercare services are continued and maintained while participants are under community supervision. Case managers also work with the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services to provide ex-offenders with job placement assistance.
The ACT Program also involves an interagency collaboration called the Reentry Case Management Team. The team meets monthly and brings together a number of organizations that provide inmates with treatment and services to successfully reintegrate back into the community after release from jail. These community organizations include the Auglaize County Sherriff’s Office, the Auglaize County Municipal Court, Ohio Adult Parole Authority, the Auglaize County Probation Department, Community Connection for Ohio Offenders, Lutheran Social Services, St. Mary’s School District Adult Basic Education/GED Program, and ASTOP (a local substance abuse provider).