Within 5 years of release, nearly three-quarters of ex-offenders are re-arrested. More than half return to incarceration after being convicted of a new crime or violating the conditions of their release, called recidivism. Risk factors include homelessness, lack of education, unemployment, mental illness, and substance abuse.
The Successful Transition And Reentry (STAR) Program is a cutting-edge Re-Entry Case Management program designed to assist inmates in their transition from the correctional facility to the Morris County community at-large.
The STAR Program Fights Recidivism
For successful re-entry, ex-offenders need housing, food, medical care, clothing, substance abuse treatment, mental health care, employment, and education. Research shows that re-entry programs that span all three phases of re-entry – preparation, service provision, and long-term support – are most successful.
The STAR program helps inmates with all three of these phases.
Phases of the STAR Program
Step 1: Preparation
- Meet with clients one-on-one while still incarcerated.
- Use our evidence-based intake assessment to conduct personal interviews. This allows us to get a full picture of their needs.
- Teach life skills, organization, and goal setting.
- Assist in compilation of necessary documents and identifications which will be needed in phase two.
Step 2: Service Provision
- Develop an Individualized Transition Plan including the client’s vision, domains of need, specific goals, action-based strategies and resources.
- Create a comprehensive Transition Team to assist the client in executing the Transition Plan.
- Provide clients with OTA services such as GA/TANF, SNAP and Medicaid.
- Coordinate a warm handoff to additional services such as Medical/Dental, Substance Use Treatment, Mental Health Care, HIV/AIDS Services, Domestic Violence Services, Veterans Service, etc.
- Assist in securing housing and employment opportunities.
Step 3: Long-Term Support and Supervision
- Provide ongoing case management for up to 12 months through continued contact with clients and other service providers.
- Continue to reassess the client’s needs and revisit phase two as needed.
- Reassessments are routinely conducted at 3 and 9 months post release, but can be done at anytime if needed.
Foundations of the STAR Program
Federal and State Benefits
We are the first County in the State to have dually-trained professionals who can determine eligibility for benefits and address social service needs of inmates upon release. Examples: SNAP, GA, TANF and Medicaid.
- A cornerstone of the STAR Program is working with inmates while at MCCF to empower them towards self-sufficiency. One critical aspect is healthcare, for which we teach clients to independently access the open online Medicaid portal.
- Medicaid applications are submitted through the online portal and sent to Conduent where eligibility is determined within 3-5 days, allowing the client to exit the facility with health benefits.
Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT)
The MCCF will now provide a continuum of medication-assisted therapy options to all inmates based on medical necessity.
- Vivitrol ® (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension) is a prescription injectable medicine used to treat Alcohol dependence and/or prevent relapse to opioid dependence after alcohol and opioid detox by blocking the effects of these substances.
- To be effective, Vivitrol must be used with other alcohol or drug recovery programs, such as counseling.
- A comprehensive screening across several life domains (medical, social, etc) is used to determine candidacy for Vivitrol.
- The first Vivitrol injection will be given to clients upon release. A warm handoff will be facilitated between the STAR program and other licensed providers for continued care.
- All other medication-assisted therapy options will be determined by the medical staff on an individual basis.
One year of Post-Release Case Management
Leading the way for Re-Entry in the State of New Jersey, The STAR Program continues contact with clients in the community for their first-year post-release.
- The STAR Program meets clients where they are to address barriers to success thus preventing recidivism.
- The strength of the STAR Program’s post-release component relies on partnerships with other service providers in the community. Our partners include the Chamber of Commerce, Employment and Training Services, Health Clinics, and various Non-Profit Organizations, etc.
If you have any questions or wish to learn more about the STAR Program, contact:
- Lt. Mike Schweizer: 973-631-5433 and [email protected]
This is a joint program between the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the Morris County Office of Temporary Assistance.