The criminal justice system is a complex network of public and private agencies that are all focused on ensuring a high level of public safety. Community Solutions works with:
- Communities to develop and implement strategies to ensure that people returning from incarceration can be successful;
- Neighborhoods to help develop and implement community safety initiatives;
- Local jail systems and community-based supervision agencies to ensure that their processes are streamlined for intake, assessment, and processing, and that they support public safety and re-entry;
- Court systems to develop connections to community resources that give alternative options to incarceration;
- Community-based providers to prepare them to support people returning to their communities after incarceration, so they do not re-offend.
This work is most effectively done when it is done across the entire system and the “parts of the system” are all aligned to achieve a targeted result.
In Marion County, Community Solutions designed, implemented, and is the backbone support for the Marion County Re-entry Coalition (MCRC). The MCRC brings together representatives of community and faith based organizations, criminal justice/public safety systems, employers, and advocates to align their actions and strategies, so they can build on each other’s strengths to accelerate the impact of their work. The result, after one year, was a 7.9% decrease in the re-arrest rate in Marion County. A study by the Center for Criminal Justice Research at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs estimated a cost savings of $1.5 – $2.6 million for every 1% reduction in recidivism (defined as the return to the Indiana Department of Correction within 3 years). This not only has a positive fiscal impact on the systems but also indicates that individuals were able to successfully integrate back into their communities without negatively impacting the safety of their neighborhoods or the community as a whole.