KETCHIKAN REENTRY COALITION LAUNCHES NAVIGATION SERVICE TO SUPPORT THE FORMERLY INCARCERATED

KETCHIKAN, AK – According to the Alaska Department of Corrections (ADOC), 66% of individuals incarcerated in the state of Alaska go on to commit new crimes after being released, a recidivism rate of two out of three. This tracks closely with the 65% rate of incarcerated Alaskans rates of behavioral health issues and disabilities experienced by our prison population, resulting in ADOC serving as the single largest provider of mental health services in the state. Many individuals returning to their communities, termed reentrants, struggle to find housing, employment, treatment services, transportation, and a healthy community to connect with. In addition, legal barriers, lack of skills and training, and stigma against the formerly incarcerated increase the difficulty in accessing what resources and services are availability, all of which contributes to that low rate of success in transitioning back to their communities.

 

The Ketchikan Reentry Coalition (KRC) seeks to engage the public in taking ownership of the problem of recidivism, creating a safer community that supports the reintegration of reentrants, giving them the tools and resources they need to successfully reconnect with and contribute to Alaska’s First City. Community assessments conducted by the KRC found that Ketchikan does have resources available for reentrants, but these resources are spread across a variety of different non-profits, support groups, church associations, state departments, etc. Each of these different organizations can often have wildly varying means for accessing those resources. For these reasons, the KRC has developed a new non-clinical support service specifically focused on assisting reentrants as they transition back to the community: Reentry Navigation.

 

The KRC Reentry Navigation Service is a six-month transitional support program designed to help reentrants obtain the services and resources they need while ensuring accountability and community safety. Each client is assigned a Reentry Navigator who will assist the client with creating a transition plan, identifying needs and goals, and accessing services and supports available in the Ketchikan area. Regular check-ins with the navigator and coordination between service providers via a cross-agency care team provide support to the client, helping them achieve their goals and transition to independence successfully, benefiting themselves and our community.

 

The KRC Reentry navigation service is intended for individuals (inclusive of felons, misdemeanants, and sex offenders) who: (1) have been incarcerated for a minimum of 30-days, (2) are at medium to high-risk of recidivating and (3) are soon to be or have recently been released from incarceration (90-days prior or up to 60 days after release). Priority will generally be given to the highest risk cases with the greatest need for support. Potential clients who fall outside of the above eligibility requirements may still be accepted pending a review of the case by the KRC Tri-Chairs approving the exception. Partner agencies interested in referring a client for the KRC Reentry Navigation Service should contact KRC Coordinator and Navigation Lead Tundra Greenstreet (tgreenstreet@akeela.org).

 The Ketchikan Reentry Coalition is focused on ensuring that each reentrant gets a fair chance to successfully reintegrate into their community and culture. This navigation service will support reentrants in making that transition by instilling personal accountability, confidence, and encouraging them to share their successes. We believe we can come together to produce a safer community through significant reduction in recidivism by ensuring each reentrant has the societal and cultural supports necessary to successfully reintegrate and become independent.

Tundra Greenstreet