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Inmate to Citizen Research Demonstration

EDI Home Community Inclusion Inmate to Citizen

Inmate to Citizen Research Demonstration


This research demonstration project is a broad system's impact effort that spans the internal and external service systems traditionally provided to inmates within the Special Needs Units of the New York State Department of Correctional Services, and within the New York State Division of Parole. The focus of the project is to use person-centered practices to develop a system of seamless services and supports that facilitate the successful re-entry of inmates with special needs into community membership roles. Research serves as a guide for designing interventions and recording information for future project replication.

Representatives from the Yang-Tan Institute, the NYS Department of Correctional Services and the NYS Division of Parole comprise a learning community that customizes the best-practice theories of person-centered thinking to the unique and distinct considerations and conditions of each of the three Special Needs Units across the state.

Using a person-centered planning method to design a global vision to integrate the system with seamless services the following articulates the activities that are conducted over the course of the project year:

Center Activities

State-wide Support: Individuals representing direct line and administrative personnel from across the NYS Department of Correctional Services, the NYS Division of Parole and select Community Rehabilitation Providers convene once a year in a two-day facilitated learning community to review the vision for the project, share the general and specific learning and project accomplishments and to establish new objectives for the forthcoming year.

Competency-Based Training: a core training series consisting of three distinct two day modules has been developed to train facility and community parole personnel in the following areas: Foundations of Person-Centered Practice; A Framework for Planning, and; Community Connections.

These sessions are conducted on site at each of the three corrections facilities that have Special Needs Units. Plenty of time is provided between training sessions to allow participants to apply the learning on the job before moving to the next module.

Facility-Based Technical Assistance: Cornell staff provide regular on-site technical assistance to facility personnel to support applied learning and to help re-design critical support systems to align existing resources to the project objectives. Off-site technical assistance is available via telephone consultation and internet access.

Research: a critical cornerstone of the project is its research component. Data collection and analysis is conducted on an on-going basis to inform and guide the learning community toward the development and implementation of its objectives.

About the Center

Funding Agency

The New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

Principal Investigator

Thomas P. Golden

Collaborating Partners

The New York State Department of Correction and the New York State Division of Parole


Contact Us

Carol Blessing
201 Dolgen Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 518-265-3759
Fax: 607-255-2763
Email: cjb39@cornell.edu

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