Crossroads Connection has a six-month transitional housing program in Omaha with a capacity of eight men. To be considered, inmates at CCC-O eligible for work release had to apply for it, get a job, and submit the specified $175 prepayment of program fee. Those at CCC-O who could not get work release before their parole hearing, and those from OCC and other such facilities, have had to submit at least $350 pre-payment, determined on a case-by-case basis.
We added a sentence to our policy allowing variation in required pre-payment to either higher or lower amount. "If grant funding is available, the minimum amount may be adjusted for men released to parole of at least several months who document inability to make a prepayment this large." Crossroads recently received a modest external grant to help increase our capacity by allowing financial flexibility to accept released men who were not already working in Omaha.
Cindy Fabian learned of this upon our first acceptance of someone from whom we had required less than the standard minima. (We required no pre-payment in that instance, thinking this would facilitate his prompt release.) Cindy has asked for clarification twice now, recognizing immediately that any change of policy would be fodder for rumor, then needing to communicate our revisions to other NDCS personnel clearly. In response we edited our information sheet slightly to facilitate use beyond CCC-O, and replied to Cindy’s questions.
Do you have an actual application? There is no application form. When inmates contact us, we give or send an information page and generic policy sheet (a copy of each is attached.), and tell them to request that we arrange an interview if the program interests them. All decisions on acceptance are based on face-to-face interviews, typically with two LIFE Committee members.
How do I and other Re-Entry Officers let the inmates know what the process is? Use the attached information, or suggest the inmate write us at Crossroads Connection, 851 North 74th Street, Omaha NE 68114. This is the contact address for the inmates who have questions.
How do Reentry officers know who is eligible for subminimum Prepayment?
Inmates at institutions other than CCC-O are eligible for interviews only if coming out on parole. All those we interviewed [when our board allowed us more flexibility with prepayment] had been recommended to us by a NDCS social worker, case manager, or religious worker. We appreciate such suggestions. Except for men working in Omaha, consideration of pre-payment less than $350 will be limited to those who: allow us to confirm reduced ability to pay, can justify lack of savings, and are likely to thrive with our requirements and support.
How does the inmate know what prepayment is required? If not one of the standard amounts: $175 or $350, each individual’s pre-payment amount will be discussed at his interview and included in the agreement which the inmate signs and returns to us.
How will the interview be conducted if an inmate is at a facility other than in Omaha? We arrange interview space with case managers, have conducted them at CCC-O, OCC, and NSP, and would at other facilities except at WEC (which is too far) and NCCW (since we don’t have the resources to start a women’s unit). We don’t interview on Sundays. We communicate our decision by the following Sunday.
Updated June, 2015