Society for Social Work and Research

Sixteenth Annual Conference Research That Makes A Difference: Advancing Practice and Shaping Public Policy
11-15 January 2012 I Grand Hyatt Washington I Washington, DC

15760 Project RISE: Reentry Inventory of Service Engagement Following Incarceration

Sunday, January 15, 2012: 10:45 AM
Roosevelt (Grand Hyatt Washington)
* noted as presenting author
Audrey L. Begun, PhD, Associate Professor, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Theresa J. Early, PhD, Associate Professor, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Lindsay Gezinski, MA, MSW, PhD Candidate, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Christine L. Sielski, MSW, Doctoral Student, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Purpose: Individuals reentering the community following a period of incarceration often experience significant needs for services that go unmet with implications for recidivism and poor quality of life. Project RISE study objectives included identifying: (1) the extent of service needs anticipated and experienced by men and women preparing for and following community reentry; (2) barriers to meeting service needs; (3) differences in men's and women's reentry experiences; and, (4) differences with release from jails, prisons, or community based correctional facilities (CBCFs). Methods: A short-term longitudinal study design included in-person interviews two weeks prior to and 3-4 months following release. Participants were recruited from six prisons, four jails, and four CBCFs in a single state. Women were oversampled because of their smaller population. Pre-release interviews were conducted with 309 individuals (58% men, 41% women; 22% jail, 47% prison, 31% CBCF) and reentry interviews with 137 (45%). Measures included demographic and personal histories, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test Including Drugs (AUDIT-ID), service needs assessments (health, mental health, substance abuse, and housing), and service barrier ratings modified from the Allen Barriers to Treatment Instrument. Results: While 75% had pre-incarceration AUDIT-ID scores in the “risk” to “high risk” range, 45% anticipated and 69% actually experienced a need for substance use services during reentry. Services received mostly involved 12-step programs (44%) and/or individual or group counseling (29-32%). Post-release, 20% screened positive again for substance abuse. Although men anticipated twice as many barriers to substance abuse services as women (Anova p<.01), no significant reentry differences by gender were reported. Logistic regression analysis indicated that barriers related to access/ability to pay and self-efficacy/motivation had the greatest effect on whether or not substance use occurred during reentry. Participants released from jail (vs. prison or CBCF) encountered significantly more substance abuse service barriers: Anova F(2,55)= 10.61, p<.001; M=14.10 vs. 5.86, 6.36. During reentry, only 15% of participants received any mental health services despite 54% expressing “some” to “extremely high” needs. Participants from jail (vs. prison or CBCF) encountered significantly more mental health service barriers: Anova F(2,64)=3.43, p<.05; M=8.50 vs. 5.51, 3.90. The barriers to mental health services most commonly experienced were those related to access and ability to pay. Healthcare needs were experienced by 56% of participants during reentry, and housing assistance needs by 30%. Overall, housing was rated as being relatively stable and reliable, but the participants' level of satisfaction with housing was relatively poor. The barriers to healthcare and housing most commonly experienced were ability to pay (and lack of health insurance). No significant differences in barriers to any services were observed between men versus women. Implications: Connecting individuals to affordable resources for mental health, substance abuse, healthcare, and housing is an important goal for social work intervention with the population of men and women reentering community living following a period of incarceration. Future analyses of the current dataset will include cost analyses of services utilized by this population and the possible compounding of difficulties encountered by individuals with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health concerns.
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