May 15, 2009
TO: HEADS OF ALL STATE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
Number 7: Reducing Recidivism and Creating the Individual Assessment, Discharge and Planning Team (I-ADAPT)
WHEREAS, a critical element of reducing crime is reducing the number of repeat offenders; and
WHEREAS, about 97 percent of offenders in Delaware prisons will be released back into society, and currently, 57 percent serve more than one year with an average length of stay of 20.8 months, 24 percent serve less than one year with an average length of stay of 63.1 days and 19 percent are in detention status; and
WHEREAS, it costs about $33,000 a year to incarcerate one inmate, and prisons are 20 times more costly than probation; and
WHEREAS, over the next two years approximately 2,800 sentenced adult inmates will be released from Delaware's prisons, and approximately 70 percent will be on some form of community-based supervision; and
WHEREAS, recently released inmates can face a number of problems that could lead them back to criminal activity, such as homelessness, a lack of job skills, limited education, lack of transportation to get to work and trouble finding work because of their criminal history; and
WHEREAS, by working together among state agencies and community organizations, the Department of Correction could gather all the necessary information to develop individualized re-entry plans for each inmate based on their specific situation;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Delaware, do hereby ORDER that:
• The comprehensive plan to reduce recidivism, as presented by the Department of Correction, the Delaware State Housing Authority, the Department of Labor, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, is hereby adopted.
• A Cabinet-level team shall be established to oversee implementation and further development of the comprehensive plan, and provide advice and input to the Governor on reducing recidivism and promoting effective re-entry policies. This team shall include the Commissioner of the Department of Correction, the Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority and the Secretaries of the Department of Labor, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families. The Cabinet-level team shall be led by a chairperson chosen by the group. The chairperson will serve for a one-year term before the position rotates to another member of the group.
• The Cabinet-level team shall appoint such working groups that are necessary to effectively and efficiently implement the comprehensive plan, and shall include members of the community that have relevant experience and insight.
• The Cabinet-level team shall lead the creation of an Individual Assessment, Discharge and Planning Team (I-ADAPT), which shall assist in implementing the approved comprehensive plan to reduce recidivism by coordinating efforts among State agencies and community organizations to assist offenders who are to be released back into society. The chairperson of the Cabinet-level team shall report to the Governor periodically, but no less than once a calendar quarter, on the implementation of the comprehensive plan and the status of the I-ADAPT process.
• I-ADAPT shall consist of one or more representatives from the Department of Correction, the Delaware State Housing Authority, the Department of Labor, the Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Social Services, representatives from faith-based and other community organizations, and an ex-offender. When appropriate, the members of I-ADAPT may appoint a representative from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families to assist in their efforts. I-ADAPT will be led by a chairperson chosen by the group. The chairperson will serve for a one-year term before the position rotates to another member of the group. The Governor shall appoint the ex-offender and representatives from faith-based and other community organizations.
• Members of I-ADAPT shall:
(a) Increase availability and access to services within five identified re-entry pillars – Housing, Employment, Human Services, Education and Community Integration – through streamlining current processes and utilizing existing resources.
(b) Create a standardized process for documenting offenders’ entry to and release from the Department of Correction, identifying gaps in the services provided and opportunities for improvement.
(c) Develop a re-entry Memorandum of Understanding, which may be amended or supplemented from time-to-time, between and among State government agencies to enhance and streamline the delivery of necessary services in a manner that requires clear expectations and accountability.
(d) Implement an accountability system that will annually monitor the plan’s successes, detail opportunities for improvement, and assist in the development and implementation of best practices.
(e) Work to equip individuals released from custody with the tools needed to succeed in the community.
(f) Build a continuum of custody, care, and control for all offenders who are under a community-based supervision sentence, and especially those offenders who are discharged from the custody of the Department of Correction.
(g) Identify how state agencies and the community can work together to improve offender accountability and to require personal responsibility for achieving self-sufficiency.
(h) Divide into five teams – Statewide Oversight, City of Wilmington, New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County – for the purpose of focusing available resources in each of those areas.
(i) Strive to improve public safety by reducing recidivism by 50 percent within a five-year period and decreasing re-victimization in our communities.
Jack A. Markell,