BRIDGES participates with and implements the daily activities of the Rockland County Re-Entry Task Force (RCRTF) co-chaired by the Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe and Department of Corrections & Community Supervision Bureau Chief Paul Pacheco. This is one of 19 task forces funded through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) charged with the responsibility for implementing an inclusive model of assistance provided to individuals re-entering the community.
BRIDGES provides individual planning, case management, and referral services to support individuals by addressing issues related to criminogenic and stabilization needs. The primary goal of the Re-Entry program is to reduce recidivism by providing strategic interventions and supports that address needs with housing, employment, and individual psycho-social needs while intentionally promoting community safety in all activities. In most situations, the BRIDGES Re-Entry Coordinator begins working with individuals pre-release, at the time of referral from DOCCS.
The success of this program is due largely to the strength-based, person-centered approach developed by the BRIDGES Re-Entry Coordinator with each individual utilizing services as supported by the variety of agencies actively participating in the RCRTF. Individualized plans are developed with the use of evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral interventions and community resources focused on each individual’s identified goals for community re-integration.
Ready, Set, Work / Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS)
As part of the DCJS Pathways to Employment initiative, BRIDGES offers Ready, Set, Work! (RSW!). This 20-hour skills-based training equips individuals with the necessary tools to obtain and retain gainful employment with an emphasis on career planning and advancement opportunities. The RSW! curriculum includes modules on: Career Assessment, Legal Issues & Financial Incentives, Job Search, Applications, Interviews & Retention, Budget and Spending Plan, Employer Expectations, and Barriers & Resources.
Thinking For Change
BRIDGES implements Thinking for a Change, an evidence-based curriculum created by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) designed to assist individuals reshape criminogenic thought patterns by developing empathy, promoting pro-social behaviors, and strengthening effective problem-solving strategies. Thinking For Change is offered to high – moderate risk individuals on Supervision referred by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) in order to ensure a successful transition into their community.
Each participant completes 25 lessons that each include: didactic training, role-play, skill cards, and practice assignments. Accommodations for learning needs or other disabilities can be requested with referral.
Thinking For Change facilitators are approved and certified by New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (OPCA).
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Alternative to Incarceration (IDDATI)
The Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Alternative to Incarceration Program (IDDATI) began in 2015 at BRIDGES. The Rockland County District Attorney’s (RCDA) office identified a gap in their Alternative to Incarceration Programs for persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Especially within the Mental Health Alternative to Incarceration (MHATI) program they observed persons who were not successful due to their lack of progress in treatment. The RCDA’s office was able to begin intelligence testing and found that the persons in question with a lack of progress did indeed have an IQ lower than 70. It is because of this innovative thinking that the IDDATI program was created, to service those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities that are currently in need of these alternatives.
IDDATI is a voluntary, support service-based program. The person must plead guilty for the misdemeanor or felony and will then be permitted the Alternative. The person is referred from the RCDA’s office and is assigned to the IDDATI Case Manager who provides services and referrals for a minimum of one year for misdemeanors and a minimum of 18 months for felonies. IDDATI services engage, connect and motivate individuals towards pro-social behavior and person-centered goals. The IDDATI Case manager is a liaison between the person, the RCDA, legal representation, Rockland County Court and for county and state level providers within the community.