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Family TIES

Due to an unprecedented increase in the number of individuals being released from jail into the community, there is a growing national interest on the impact these adult releasees may have on their communities. Many of these communities are already vulnerable due to high rates of crime, unemployment, poverty, and transience. A significant number of adults being released need various services and life skills to allow them to reintegrate successfully into their community. In response, the United States Department of Education has funded a comprehensive program aimed at reducing recidivism by developing and improving the life skills needed for an adult inmate to successfully integrate into society upon release from jail.

Family TIES was a project led by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department, in collaboration with three community-based organizations, provided life skills development services to inmates in two San Diego County detention facilities: Las Colinas which is a detention facility for women; and George Bailey, a men’s detention facility. Program services focused on pre-employment skills, substance abuse intervention, parenting and healthy relations, domestic violence treatment, and an enrichment class in building literacy and reading skills. The project aimed to provide in-custody services to nearly 1,000 inmates from October 1, 2003 through September 30, 2006.

The Criminal Justice Research Division received approximately $120,000 to conduct a process and impact evaluation of the Family TIES project. SANDAG conducted a process evaluation to determine if the project was implemented as designed and an impact evaluation to determine whether or not the expected positive effects of the project are realized. Data were collected from client and program staff interviews, standardized assessments, knowledge tests, criminal histories, case studies, and follow-up interviews with clients.