A Promising Approach to Coordinated Community-Based Reentry Services

A man is talking to another man.
By Michelle S. Manno, Ann Bickerton, Bret Barden, Niko Leiva, Megan Schwartz

Evidence for coordinated reentry—or the coordination of services from multiple community provid­ers—shows that it is a promising approach to supporting people with mental health needs or substance use disorders who are released from correctional facilities. One such program is the Reentry Intensive Case Management Services (RICMS) program. Through a network of 29 community-based providers located across Los Angeles County, the RICMS program links individuals with prior criminal legal system involvement to community health workers—most of whom have lived experience with the criminal legal system, housing instability, or mental health issues. For about one year, the community health workers provide care coordination and help clients navigate the many services and other forms of support available to them.

This report presents findings from the RICMS evaluation, which is part of the Los Angeles County Reentry Integrated Services Project (LA CRISP), a multiyear, multistudy evaluation of services offered by the Los Angeles County Reentry Division that is led by MDRC. The RICMS evaluation includes a process study and outcomes study of the RICMS program that are based on analyses of administrative records and management information system data for people who enrolled in the program between April 2018 and March 2021; a survey of program staff members and man­agers from April 2022; and semistructured interviews with program managers, staff members, and participants that were conducted between June 2019 and August 2022. The study used a nonexperimental approach to compare the health and criminal legal system outcomes of individuals who enrolled and participated in the RICMS program with those of individuals in a matched comparison group who enrolled but did not participate in the program. In the absence of a random­ized controlled trial, this exploratory quasi-experimental analysis provides some initial information about the differences in outcomes that could be due to participation in the program.

Overall, the results suggest that the RICMS approach to coordinated, community-based reentry is promising and could improve the life experiences of program participants, especially by reducing their future contact with the criminal legal system.

Document Details

Publication Type
September 2023
Manno, Michelle, Ann Bickerton, Bret Barden, Niko Leiva, and Megan Schwartz. 2023. A Promising Approach to Coordinated Community-Based Reentry Services. New York: MDRC.