Expected Outcomes for Our Clients
Interaction Transition draws participants mainly, though not exclusively, from the support groups it facilitates at three Western Washington prisons: The Washington State Reformatory, Twin Rivers Corrections Center, and the Washington Corrections Center for Women.
Participants join the in-prison program voluntarily because they plan to reside in King County and they wish to address some of their practical transitional issues within a supportive, structured environment. Continuing membership in the prison support groups is contingent upon active, thoughtful participation, as judged by peers and program staff.
Interaction Transition's approach to the transition of formerly incarcerated individualss is distinguished by its emphasis on preparing and screening participants before they are released. Interaction Transition provides essential support to participants through four stages:
1. While confined, participants attend weekly group sessions with program staff or other members of the outside community.
2. Before release, transition counselors help participants develop specific strategies and identify resources critical to their successful re-entry into the community.
3. Shortly after release, I/T participants will meet with the Executive Director to receive their employment assignment.
4. Participants are encouraged to further continue their re-entry process by becoming involved community members.
Outcomes and Approach
The expected outcome of the program is that participants will maintain productive membership in the free community instead of returning to prison. This expected outcome is based on I/T’s premise that two conditions must be met if formerly incarcerated individuals are to avoid returning to crime:
1. They must be able to meet their basic needs for economic subsistence and social support.
2. They must take personal responsibility for living within the moral constraints that society imposes as a condition for continuing participation in the free community. Such responsibility requires insight into their own patterns of thought and social behavior.
Interaction Transition believes that these conditions support each other. People reconciled with the society that has punished them are more likely than non-reconciled offenders to accept the discipline of going to work, doing without luxuries, curbing temptations, and respecting the rights of others. At the same time, formerly incarcerated individuals with a job, a place to live, and essential life skills for managing successfully in society are more likely to be reconciled than those who find themselves neglected and stigmatized when they return to the streets.
The objectives of I/T’s program are advanced by its philosophical approach as well as by its specific services. By emphasizing “self-help” rather than imposing a custodial treatment regime on unwilling participants, I/T aims to encourage its members to develop a sense of responsibility and self-respect.