An Evaluation of the Minnesota Comprehensive Offender Reentry Plan (MCORP): Phase 1 Report
Group: Minnesota Department of Corrections
In 2008, the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC), in collaboration with Hennepin, Ramsey, and Dodge/Fillmore/Olmsted (DFO) counties, implemented the Minnesota Comprehensive Offender Reentry Plan (MCORP) pilot project, an offender reentry initiative serving offenders released to the five counties. In an effort to lower recidivism, MCORP was designed to increase offender access to critical reentry services in the community such as employment, housing, educational and vocational programming, chemical dependency (CD) treatment, income support, and community support programming (i.e., mentoring, restorative justice circles, and faith-based support). Using the core components of evidence-based practices, MCORP attempted to enhance service delivery by emphasizing increased collaboration between institutional caseworkers and supervision agents to provide planning, support, and direction for offenders to address their strengths and needs in both the institution and the community. In pursuit of increasing offender access to community services and programming, MCORP supervision agents had smaller caseload sizes and began initiating contact with the offenders on their caseloads while the offenders were still incarcerated. To evaluate whether the MCORP pilot project (hereafter referred to as MCORP) was effective in reducing recidivism, the DOC and the five pilot counties implemented a randomized experimental design, which is widely considered to be the most rigorous research design used in program evaluations. During 2008, eligible offenders were randomly assigned to either the experimental (MCORP) or control (regular) groups. Data were collected on the offenders from both groups that measured their experiences prior to imprisonment, during their incarceration, and after their release from prison. Using the data that were collected, this evaluation attempted to address three main questions. First, did MCORP reduce recidivism? Second, did MCORP increase offender access to community services and programming? And, third, to what extent did these services have an impact on recidivism? To answer these questions, the results from the evaluation are provided below.
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