The Minnesota Comprehensive Offender Reentry Program (MCORP) was a case management program implemented in seven different correctional institutions across Minnesota. The program connected caseworkers in prisons with supervision agents in the communities to which participants return upon release from prison. Participants worked with their prison caseworkers and community supervision agents to develop strategies to prevent recidivism through motivational interviewing and SMART (Small, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) planning strategies. This connection between caseworkers was meant to bridge the gap between prison and release. Additionally, the program aimed to strengthen the relationship between incarcerated individuals and their caseworkers by limiting caseload sizes.
To be considered eligible for MCORP, individuals must have been committed from one of the five specified counties, incarcerated in one of the seven participating institutions, have had at least 6 months of community supervision left, and not be registered as a sex offender. In addition, they could not participate in one of the other early release programs (such as the Challenge Incarceration Program) or work release, had to be released to regular supervision rather than intensive supervised release, and could not have any detainers, warrants, or holds that would jeopardize participation in MCORP.
MCORP created a collaborative relationship between institutional caseworkers and supervision agents in the community. The program included continuous and dynamic case planning/management that lasted from the time individuals were incarcerated until they were released into the community. Specifically, MCORP addressed the following three phases surrounding reentry: institutional, transitional, and community reintegration.
Caseworkers and supervision agents implemented motivational interviewing and SMART planning strategies in conjunction with the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) risk/needs assessment tool to create a transition accountability plan (TAP), which was a guide that outlined participants’ goals while they were incarcerated. Institutional caseworkers included participants’ community supervision agents in the case planning as soon as possible, ensuring continuity during participants’ transition from the institution to the community.
To enhance service delivery and improve the transition process, MCORP supervision agents were given smaller caseloads and practiced “inreach,” which they conducted by contacting their clients while they are still incarcerated. Community supervision agents used both the LSI-R and in-person meetings with their incarcerated clients to determine their specific strengths and needs. Supervision agents also connected MCORP participants with services and resources related to employment, vocational training, education, housing, chemical health, mentoring, faith-based programming, and income support.
Institutional case managers and community supervision agents collaborated closely regarding their clients’ progress to ensure continuous and efficient case management/planning.
MCORP was based on research that shows that correctional programming, including educational/vocational opportunities and substance abuse treatment, may decrease recidivism (Duwe 2012). Further, social support can deter those who are justice-involved from engaging in future criminal activity (Duwe 2012). By improving case management and planning, MCORP sought to make these services and supports more accessible to those who commit offenses—both during incarceration and upon return to the community.
MCORP was a pilot project and is no longer operational.