Pre-Release and Reentry Services (PRRS) program residents have been incarcerated from one weekend to up to twenty years in rare cases so their reentry needs vary widely. The sentence length and institution to which the resident was originally sentenced determines how much community contact the resident has been able to maintain prior to coming to PRRS. Approximately twenty percent of PRRS residents are new to the area. In many cases residents are not aware of the resources available to them in the community. After a thorough evaluation of the residentís reentry needs, PRRS Case Managers refer residents to community agencies that might be able to assist them with reentry.
Case Managers and medical professionals at PRRS assess each resident to determine whether they would benefit from counseling services. Few residents have medical insurance to help defray the cost of counseling. The search for treatment providers offering sliding scale fees for counseling services is ongoing. Case Managers match residents with treatment providers that are affordable and can provide the type of services needed by the resident. Substance Abuse treatment, anger management, domestic violence reduction, womenís support and stress management are some of the counseling needs residentsí experience.
Finding affordable housing is a major obstacle for most residents. Residents are required to save money for housing and other reentry needs as soon as they begin working. Ten percent of residentís take home pay is deducted from each paycheck and placed in a savings account where it accumulates until the resident is released. Sometimes resident savings is not enough to cover a first monthís rent and security deposit.
Social Services offer residents money for one monthís rent and a security deposit with proof of housing such as a lease or rental agreement. Some residents find rooms to rent or homes to share through ads in the newspapers or websites advertising housing opportunities.
Residents seeking to maximize their likelihood of maintaining sobriety interview with Oxford Houses for sober, supportive rooms with other recovering people. A few Transitional Housing beds are available to chronically mentally ill residents residing in Montgomery County. Silver Spring Interfaith Housing Coalition provides housing to a limited number of women leaving PRRS.
Some residents have been diagnosed with mental health problems before incarceration and others are newly diagnosed by the department psychiatrist. These residents need ongoing treatment and medication management. As with counseling services, finding affordable mental health treatment is a challenge. In most cases Case Managers make referrals to treatment providers in the community as soon as the resident is employed.
The department psychiatrist manages residentís medication until one month prior to release when that responsibility is passed on to the treatment provider
Residents are provided the opportunity to attend religious services at facilities in the Washington Metropolitan area. Case Managers offer information about area services for different denominations and assist residents in finding transportation to services. Residents are encouraged to become involved with support groups in the community that promote a pro-social lifestyle and family involvement. Many religious institutions offer these opportunities to residents.