National Criminal Justice Reform Project
Delaware's Strategic Plan
In mid-December 2017, Delaware presented its strategic plan to improve the prisoner reentry process to Governor John Carney. The Delaware plan was the result of eight months of intensive work as part of the National Criminal Justice Reform Project (NCJRP). Delaware was the first, of the five NCJRP states to complete and submit their strategic plan to the Governor. Christian Kervick, executive director of the Delaware Criminal Justice Council and NCJA vice-president, presented the report at the Governors Cabinet Retreat on December 14, 2017. “We received 100 percent support and buy in moving forward.” Kervick said. “To a Secretary, each pledged whatever staff, collaboration and/or available resources they had available as we proceed. All had words of encouragement.”
Delaware’s Strategic Plan for Prisoner Reentry included input from over 70 stakeholders dedicated to increasing public safety by improving the state’s prisoner reentry process. The Vision and Mission for Delaware’s NCJRP project are as follows:
Delaware’s Strategic Plan for Prisoner Reentry is a collaborative, system-wide effort developed as part of the state’s Recidivism Reduction System Blueprint. This effort reduces recidivism through the use of data-driven and evidence-based practices, resulting in fewer violations and crimes committed by formerly incarcerated persons, fairer approaches, and increased cost effectiveness, and increased public safety in Delaware communities.
In order to achieve this vision, Delaware engages in a continuous evidence-based, policy-driven, data-informed, strategic planning process that: (1) acknowledges the complex dynamics associated with justice involved populations; (2) emphasizes collaboration, partnerships and data sharing across agencies and institutions to reduce barriers to reentry; (3) addresses the risks and needs of justice-involved individuals through a seamless case planning and implementation process for supervision and services; and (4) underscores the nexus between recidivism and programs targeting crime producing risk and need factors along with effective services for housing, employment, health care, mental health, substance abuse, and education.
Improving Reentry and Reducing Offender Recidivism
As part of the NCJRP project, Delaware focused on improving reentry processes and reducing offender recidivism.
As part of the project Delaware convened the Delaware Committee on Criminal Justice Reform and developed the Delaware Strategic Plan for Prisoner Reentry, Reducing Recidivism of Former Prisoners. The results thus far also include the development of the Delaware Recidivism Reduction System Blueprint, the Delaware Prisoner Reentry Initiative Framework, the Charge of the Evidence Based Practices Workgroup, the Preliminary Policy Recommendations for Recidivism Reduction from the Committee and five workgroups: Housing, Education, Employment, Behavioral Health and Data and Evaluation Workgroups. The Data and Evaluation workgroup also developed a Success Rate Analysis that will allow them to monitor the intermediate performance of reforms that are implemented.
We fully expect that the deliverables and lessons learned from this initiative will not only advance the implementation of data driven and evidence based reentry policies and practices in Delaware but in other states as well. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Christian Kervick and Valarie Tickle, planning coordinator and the entire Delaware NCJRP team, as well as our consultants Dennis Schrantz, director for the Center for Justice Innovation, and Roger Przybylski, president from RKC Group for their dedication to this work.