Offender reentry is the transition period when an offender is released from prison back into the community. During this transition, a probation officer is assigned to supervise and monitor the offender. Probation officers develop a supervision plan for each offender or client that meets the conditions of their release.
Probation officers play a vital role in making the transition successful by providing resources such as access to treatment centers, employment opportunities, and education. Below are some of the offender re-entry treatment programs available:
Intensive Re-Entry Court Program (IRC)
The primary goal of the Intensive Reentry Court (IRC) program is to identify high-risk offenders as they transition from prison to supervised release and provide an intensive rehabilitative process to increase their potential for successful reintegration back into the community and their ability to comply with court-imposed conditions of release. Not only will the IRC program utilize a wide range of community resources to address the needs of the offender, it will also feature a collaborative effort between the Court, Probation Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Public Defender’s Office in attaining program objectives.
The primary tool that is used to identify eligible participants is the Risk Prediction Index (RPI). (The RPI is a tool, developed by the Federal Judicial Center at the request of the Judicial Conference Committee on Criminal Law. The tool estimates the overall likelihood that an offender will violate conditions of release. The greater the RPI score (the scoring scale is 0 to 9), the more likely violation behavior will occur.) The target population will be offenders who fall in the moderate to high risk categories; an RPI score of 5 to 9. Of note, offenders convicted of sex offenses are excluded from the program. On a routine basis, the IRC core team, made up of the Court, probation officer, and representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Federal Public Defender’s Office will review the case history of each potential program candidate and make a recommendation for entrance into the program. Participation in the program is voluntary, however once admitted into the program, the offender’s conditions of supervision will be modified to include participation in the program, and the offender will remain in the program until successful completion or until they are expelled.
During the course of the program, participants attend a monthly hearing before the assigned Judge. The attorneys are present at the hearing during which a summary of the participant’s conduct during the prior month is reviewed by the probation officer. If the participant’s conduct for the month is deemed to be satisfactory, he/she will earn one reward. Progress is deemed to be satisfactory if there are no serious violations and the participant has complied with all conditions of supervision to an acceptable level. (For example, the participant must be employed or actively seek employment; maintain abstinence; attend counseling sessions; and report to the probation officer as directed.) In order to complete the IRC program, participants must first successfully earn 12 rewards (the equivalent of 12 successful months) in the Court-oversight portion of the program. The 12 rewards do not have to be earned in 12 consecutive months. Following completion of the Court component of the program, the participant will be transferred for 12 months to a regular supervision caseload. After successful completion of the second 12-month period (successful meaning no serious violations which result in Court intervention), the team members will each make an early termination recommendation to the Court. The recommendation can range from one year off the remaining term of supervision to an immediate discharge from supervision. Serious violations that occur during the regular supervision term may cause the participant to forfeit the opportunity for an early termination of supervised release. The final decision will rest with the Court.
For information on the impact the IRC program can have please view this informative video produced by the US Attorneys Office for the Northern District of New York.
The IRC programs operate in the U.S. District Courts in Syracuse and Albany. For additional information, please contact for Syracuse area Liana Snyder, Senior U.S. Probation Officer, at 315-234-8742 and for the Albany area Dan Casullo, U.S. Probation Officer, at 518-257-1746.