Memorandum of Understanding Between the 20th Judicial District Probation Department and the FOCUS Reentry Program
April 28, 2009
FOCUS is a reentry mentoring program, proactive in its dedication to reduce recidivism and enhance community safety. It is committed to assisting the offenders enrolled in its program to first stabilize their lives on release from jail and then to help them achieve self-sufficiency.
Once basic needs are secured, self-sufficiency is not only gained through exploring better job possibilities, establishing a long term home, finding additional opportunities for skill training/career, or identifying educational opportunities, but also through supporting better mental health, modeling and encouraging self-confidence, and providing ways and means to self empowerment.
The FOCUS reentry program participation includes the following:
- FOCUS will provide mentor reentry services exclusively to the Boulder County Jail and the 20th Judicial District Probation Department and its various programs.
- All potential mentors are screened by FOCUS Staff and Mentor Advisors.
- FOCUS works with same gender matches.
- Mentors must complete 17 hours of FOCUS training plus a workshop on Motivational Interviewing and Stages of Change per month.
- Mentors make a one year commitment, with possible time extensions, to their offender matches. This includes at least 1-2 hours per week, which can expand in relation to the offenders needs.
- Mentors go through the Boulder County jail orientation which includes a comprehensive background check by the jail.
- Mentors have significant ongoing support, including assessments of the progress of their matches, by FOCUS staff and professionals in the psychotherapeutic and criminal justice fields.
- Mentors sign a confidentiality agreement.
The 20th Judicial District Probation Offices participation includes the following:
- FOCUS will be invited periodically to make presentations of its program to Probation Department staff, so that they are informed of its program and the process for making a mentor match.
- Probation Department staff will offer the services to appropriate offenders, excluding those with a consistent history of violence, sexual predation and predation of children.
- Probation Office staff will contact FOCUS administrator Tania Leontov when they have an appropriate offender for a match, with the understanding that a trained mentor might not be immediately available.
- Probation Office acknowledges that the mentor/client match is voluntary and may be terminated by decision of mentor, offender (client) or both.
- The FOCUS mentor or a member of the FOCUS staff should be invited to team meetings related to the offender when appropriate. (FOCUS requires offenders to sign a Comprehensive Information Release Form.)
- Probation officers whose clients are in a FOCUS match will both initiate and respond to communications with the specific mentor. The need to communicate with the Probation Officer will be screened by FOCUS administration to assure that the communications are important and necessary.
- Probation Officers shall be made aware of the following FOCUS standard activities, which are open to amendment on request of the Probation Office staff.
- We will conduct a needs assessment (unless Probation shares this information with FOCUS.)
- We will coordinate when appropriate, with existing agencies and personnel already involved in each case, i.e. social workers, probation officers, etc. only with the permission of the offender.
- We will identify community resources for the offender and help find housing and employment where necessary.
- We will work with the offender to make contact with these resources.
- We will make contact, where appropriate, with the offenders family and help with reintegration (if appropriate and if there are no legal restrictions.)
- We will act as a consistent point of reference for each offender.
- We will not act as therapists or spiritual advisors, but we may refer offenders to our diverse churches if they initiate a request.
- Offenders who have a substance abuse problem are required to enroll in a bona fide support program post release in order for FOCUS to continue working with them.
- Another requirement of offenders is that they keep all scheduled appointments with mentors or make other timely arrangements.
Probation Department: Date: