Lauren Knoth-Peterson, Corey Whichard - November 2022
For the last 20 years, Washington State has provided unique reentry services for individuals who are at high-risk for recidivism and who have a mental illness. The Reentry Community Services Program (RCSP) provides eligible individuals with coordinated pre- and post-release services to assist with reentry. Individuals are eligible to receive 60 months of mental health services and housing assistance. Additional services are provided on an individual basis depending on need and the availability of resources.
Prior research shows that compared to similar individuals who do not receive these services, RCSP participants are more likely to access mental health services in the community, more likely to access social welfare services during reentry, less likely to require inpatient hospitalization after release, and less likely to recidivate. In addition, research finds that the program achieves these outcomes in a cost-beneficial way.
In 2021, the Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to update its evaluation of the RCSP, examine the potential expansion of the program, and investigate additional therapeutic components to further support individuals’ reentry to the community.
This preliminary report reviews prior research on the RCSP and provides an outline of the approach WSIPP intends to take for its final report to be published in November 2023.