In 2000, Jim Roddey, then Chief Executive of Allegheny County, commissioned a Jail Transition Committee to make recommendations for the needed changes in the operation and administration of the County Jail and its programs to reduce recidivism and improve public safety. The resultant Jail Transition Committee Report suggested a Community Re-integration Program, detailed below, that would be centered on reaching these goals by focusing on treatment and services in the jail as well as intensive support for inmates and ex-offenders before and during their reintegration into their communities. Additionally, key stakeholders were called to form a collaborative group whose purpose was to develop a plan to implement the countywide community re-integration approach.
Since 2000, the Jail Collaborative with representatives from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Jail and Health Department, has been meeting on a monthly basis to address its two primary concerns. The Jail Collaborative has worked through many perceived obstacles for implementing the plan that involved collaborating with other government agencies, court officials, service providers, ex-offenders, faith-based community organizations, families and the community at large. Other topics of the early discussions included engaging service providers inside and outside the jail and the importance of a strategic plan.
The committee recommended that the county corrections system focus on several key issues
- Coordination among agencies and departments
- Management information systems
- Individual case management for services for inmates in the jail, alternative incarceration and after release in the community
- The identification of program needs in the jail and in the community
- Alternative incarceration programs including house arrest
- Treatment programs in the jail and the community
- Post-release planning and coordination
- Halfway and step-down programs
- The distinctive needs of female inmates
- Jail and community program evaluations
- Program funding and grants