Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC) booked over 32,700 inmates in 2018. That is an average of 90 bookings per day (From LMDC Fact Sheet data 2018). Persons whom are incarcerated often face significant barriers as they re-enter society, and without supportive services, may cycle between jail and homelessness. With unmet mental health needs, housing or substance detoxification services, the costs to the criminal justice system and community are large amounts of money and resources. Communities must find ways to break connections between the inmate and the jail while establishing connections between the person and the community to reduce recidivist outcomes.
The moment of release represents a critical point in time that can make or break an inmate’s successful reintegration into society. The benefits of conducting discharge planning from custody are:
Linkage to appropriate next step resources based on needs; reduces reverting to methods of survival that often are self-destructive
Prevent vulnerable populations from returning to homelessness
Investment in outcome that every life has some human potential to be a productive member of society
Maintain gains achieved during the course of incarceration (medical stabilization, completed detoxification, substance abuse education/treatment, etc.)
By recognizing the importance of the above, LMDC has committed to a successful discharge planning process for inmates that are the most vulnerable and require additional assistance in meeting basic needs.
Familiar Faces in Action and Community Treatment (F2ACT) program includes the following elements of basic necessities:
- Clean and seasonally-appropriate clothing, footwear, clean socks/underwear, backpacks
- Hygiene Items
- Medicaid Enrollment
- Public transportation/bus tickets
- Temporary State ID
- Resource handbook provided by Louisville’s Coalition for the Homeless
- A warm handoff to Shelter/Housing/Treatment programs. One of LMDC’s transport officers will provide transportation to the facility arranged in the discharge plan and introduce the released inmate to staff there.
Ensuring a continuum of care from LMDC to the community is also a critical component to the health and wellbeing of the exiting inmate and the community to which they return. As such, it is critical that LMDC works closely with agencies, organizations, and programs that are willing to and are committed to reducing recidivism, and helping those in need.
Anticipated measurable outcomes for F2ACT include but are not limited to number of clients tracked, number of clients released with housing/shelter bed, number of clients released with medication, recidivism/number of clients returned to custody with new charges, Medicaid enrollment, etc.
"Ensuring a continuum of care from LMDC to the community is also a critical component to the health and wellbeing of the exiting inmate"