Place Category: Specialized Court Projects
- CHEYENNE AND ARAPAHO TRIBES HEALING TO REENTRY PROJECT
- PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
- PLANNING & IMPLEMENTATION
- PROGRAM OUTCOMES
Summary: The Healing to Reentry Project was designed to assist registered sex-offenders in transition back into their communities. It is a voluntary program that is offered by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes’ Healing to Wellness court. Its services include everything from therapy and employment assistance to housing and education. In addition, it offers an array of cultural components and can refer clients to other local services.
Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes
Program Running Length:
2015 – present
Paul Fuentes/ Theresa Faris
(405) 422-7760/ (405) 422-7421
Trial Court of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes
PO Box 102
Concho, OK 73022
The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes are located in western Oklahoma in Concho.
The Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal reservation covers nine counties and consists of 8,996 square miles of land in a checkerboard layout consisting of tribal, state, and private land.
The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes are two separate American Indian Tribes federally recognized as one tribal government. The two Tribes were administratively joined together by the U.S. Government in the nineteenth century. Each Tribe maintains a distinct culture and language. The Tribes operate under a Constitution ratified and adopted in 2006. The Constitution implements four (4) branches of government to ensure a separation of powers: Executive Branch, Legislative Branch, Tribal Council, and Judicial Branch.
The Executive Branch is comprised of a Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The Legislature consists of four Cheyenne Districts and four Arapaho Districts, for a total of eight District Legislators. The Tribal Council is composed of all members of the Tribes age eighteen and older. The Judicial Branch is comprised of one Supreme Court and one Trial Court.
In 2015, the Tribes enrollment department reported a total of 12,482 members on the tribal rolls. This number reflects a combined total of both Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal members. Approximately 5,099 tribal members live within the tribal jurisdiction and approximately 3,751 live in Oklahoma, outside of the tribal jurisdiction. Approximately 3,632 tribal members live out of the state of Oklahoma.
There are a number of factors that significantly contribute to recidivism present among the tribal jurisdiction. The Healing to Reentry Project was developed to fill the gaps identified in the reentry process of sex-offenders back into their communities.Registered sex-offenders on tribal landsSince, the fall of 2015 the Tribes have partnered with the Department of Justice – Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (DOJ – SMART) and Native American Sex Offender Management (NASOM) Project. The goal of the NASOM project is to identify and develop evidence-based and best practice resources for the treatment, management, and reentry of Native American adults and juveniles who have committed sexual offenses.
In its partnership and collaborative efforts, the Tribes were selected by NASOM as 1of only 4 tribes in the nation to participate in a Sex Offender Treatment and Reentry Case Study. The purpose of this case study is to determine the Tribe’s needs related to sex offender treatment, management, and/or reentry, the resources available to the Tribe, and the specific sex offender treatment, management, and/or reentry model that best meets the Tribe’s needs.
This partnership provides the Tribes with free training and consultation by the National Criminal Justice Training Center of Fox Valley Technical College. The Tribes have since participated in 4 on-site training of tribal stakeholders on sex offender treatment, management, and reentry and 2 intense trainings on the Static-99 actuarial assessment instrument for use with adult male sexual offenders. Fox Valley Technical College continues to offer ongoing consultation to the Tribes to assist with the development of sex offender treatment and reentry resources.
The Healing to Reentry Project aims to assist registered sex-offenders in reentry into their communities. It provides guidance, resources, and other necessities so that offenders can make the transition out of prison and become contributing tribal members.The Healing to Reentry Project offers a multi-faceted approach to client reentry. Services include assistance with employment and housing, as well as therapy treatment and case management. In addition, clients can take part in cultural traditions such as sweat lodges, Sundance ceremonies and pow-wows, cultural and art classes, as well as have access to a spiritual advisor.
The Project can refer clients to other resources offered by community partners. A wellness component provides gym/physical wellness resources, diabetes counseling and access to a dietitian. Legal aid and access to a public defender are also available. Supplemental services are available through Helping Our People Excell ( HOPE) Program and transportation can be accessed by the Department of Transportation.
The initial steps outlined for the Healing to Reentry Project were:
- Sex offender comes in contact with the registration process
- Initial form is completed of interested resources- Healing to Reentry Application Form is presented to each sex offender upon registration, verification, or update.
- Form is submitted to SORNA
- Referral comes to the Wellness Court coordinator for an assessment and to develop a treatment plan
- Follow-up conducted on services rendered
- “Core Team” meets to staff the “cases” for accountability with offenders
- All the above is voluntary; however, under sex offender code, there is a cost of $250 an offender must pay, but could be waived if they go through the Healing to Reentry Program and receive services
The Healing to Reentry Project is administered through the judicial branch of government and the Probation/SORNA Office. Between September 2014 and September 2017, the Project shared resources and core principles from the Reentry Project, Wellness Court, and SORNA TTA.
The core staff for the Healing and Reentry Project are:
- Paul Fuentes – Grants Manager/Probation Officer (wrote the grant and has been involved since the Project’s inception)
- Theresa Faris – SORNA TTA Coordinator (2012 – 2015 and 2016 to present)
- Kimberly Larney – Healing to Wellness Court Coordinator (since 2015)
Eligibility Criteria: Anyone on the registry with no exclusions
Referral Process: Once an offender is registered with SORNA, they are referred to the Healing to Reentry Program. The participant fills out the Healing to Reentry application and submits the application to the Healing to Wellness Court coordinator who then initiates the intake process.
- Risk/Needs Assessment – current psychological/social assessment and current alcohol and substance abuse evaluation
- Currently receiving training on the Static 99 and other assessment tools in lieu of or in addition to the above
- Wellness Core staff sets up treatment plan with criteria and recommendations
- Case/Treatment plan – streamline services; inclusive approach with offender input; prioritize the plan with the offender
- Revision of treatment plan form for ‘sex offender’
- If noted in assessment, a mental health evaluation can be setup
Supervision and Compliance:
- Log in/sign-in sheets from treatment attendance and phone call verifications
- Revisit and review the plan every 90 days
- Record maintenance will occur through the Healing to Wellness Court
- Probation Core staff is the case manager and reviews the treatment plans and provides recommendations
- Participants who are involved with the Healing to Reentry Project because of a court sanction are subject to regular court reviews. Progress reports (Wellness Core staff) + login sheets + verification = master report> The court may reduce or increase plan, or request sanctions.
- Otherwise, Probation Core staff can receive information from Wellness Core staff that someone is not following through with their treatment plan. The Probation Core staff will inform the SORNA Working Group. The Working Group can alter the treatment plan or determine that theregistration fee should not be waived.
- Relapse Prevention Plan (2 minimum sessions)
- Registration Fee waived
- If ordered by the court to enter into the Healing to Reentry Program, a termination plan is submitted to the court for review.
The initial funding for the Healing to Reentry Project came with the offer for technical assistance from DOJ-SMART/NASOM. The Project also intersects with tribes’ joint Healing to Wellness Court that received 3-year funding (2014 – 2017) through Purpose Area #3 in the the U.S. Department of Justice, Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation. In October of 2012, the Tribes secured grant funds through the SMART FY 12 Support for Adam Walsh Act Implementation Grant Program. This funding allowed the Tribes to hire personnel to operate the Sex Offender Registry Program and purchase equipment necessary for carrying out substantial implementation. In addition, in 2016 the Project achieved programmatic sustainability through tribal funds.In the planning and implementation of the Healing to Reentry Project, assistance was provided on the front-end from Fox Valley Technical College with training and technical assistance through federal funds from the SMART Office under the NASOM initiative (ended October 2016). Overall, TTA was provided on NASOM, needs assessment, strategic planning, how to work with sex offenders Part. 1, Static and Dynamic Factors, and how to work with sex offenders Part. 2, Stati-99R and SVR-20. In addition, Youth & Family Services (non-profit) provided their facility as a host site as well as the U.S. Marshalls and Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement who did not have a specific role in the planning; however, they supported the registry as peripheral providers.SORNA Working Group members are comprised of the SORNA Registration Official, Court Bailiff, HWC Coordinator, Probation Officer, Victim’s Advocate, Attorney General, and Supreme Court Clerk. Tribal partners are as follows: HOPE Program (Shelter, Food, and Medical), Culture and Heritage, Employment and Training, Department of Education (Higher Education, Vocational Rehabilitation), Department of Health (George Hawkins Treatment Center and Prevention), Tribal Transportation Program (Tribal Transit Program), Department of Justice, and Department of Social Services. Outside Agencies are: SCARS (Counseling Agency), Youth and Family Services, Canadian County Drug Court, Indian Health Services, BIA Law Enforcement, and US Marshals.The Healing to Reentry Project has been successful as a result of its dedicated team and the TTA was provided through the planning process. In addition, a range of local services and a shift in the perceptions of counselors working with the offenders has made the project possible.There were multiple challenges faced in the development of the Healing to Reentry Project. First and foremost was the “general perception” that all sex offenders were child molesters/abusers. This perception/belief made it difficult for many counselors to work with offenders. To address this challenge NASOM held educational trainings for providers so they could better understand the complexities of the “sex offender” label. SORNA outreach and education were also provided to Victim Services, as many of these services were initially hesitant to see offenders.
Another challenge the Project is currently facing is the living restriction sex offenders have under SORNA. Currently, offenders cannot reside in close proximity to school or low-income housing-HUD. The ‘core team’ is working to remove this restriction becauseit impedes the offenders’ ability to reenter into the community as many treatment providers are in close proximity to the restricted locations. As a result, many providers now serve in an outpatient capacity.The ‘core team’has learned many lessons in the course of the Project. They have come to realize the value of strong strategic planning and needs assessments prior to the design of a program. Through their process, they learned the importance of identifying their programmatic strengths as well as the fiscal resources available. This will support the program’s ability to be sustainable. Additionally, they understand the need to have a dedicated “reentry team.” A group of stakeholders who are willing to work together to develop a program that will work for years to come.As of 2016 there were six registered sex offendersAn evaluation of the Healing to Reentry Project overall performance is still under consideration and development. However, based on the current Anger Management – 12 session program, a pre- and post-survey is being conducted. Evaluation results, when available, will be submitted to the judicial and executive branches and the tribal council. In addition, 3- and 6-month evaluation reports will be conducted as an offender is on the registry for life.
The Project is currently using evidence-based practices that includes:
- Circles of Care
- Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA) model
- Healing to Wellness Court
Initially, many services and counselors were reluctant to take part in the Healing and Reentry Project. However, as time went on and more training and education was offered this reluctance dissipated. It has since turned into acceptance and the Project is supported by the community.In October 2017, the Probation/ SORNA Office was awarded Adam Walsh Act funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of SMART in the amount of $400,000 for a 24-month period. The grant addresses delinquent sex offenders who are unaccounted-for, factors that significantly contribute to recidivism among sex offenders, and inadequate funding. The overall program strategy is as follows: (1) Improve and sustain the Sex Offender Registration Program; and (2) Develop a Healing to Reentry Program.
An example of success occurred when a participant of the Healing to Reentry Program was referred to Employment and Training Assistance (ETA) for temporary employment. The Healing to Reentry Program, Sex Offender Registration Program, and ETA worked together to locate an appropriate job for the participant. Additionally, the participant received case management services from the Healing to Reentry Program and ETA in regards to obtaining a copy of the participant’s birth certificate and State ID.
- Reentry application
- Community service, spiritual religious activity, 12-step log sheet
- Sign-In Sheet page-1
- Sign-in Sheets page-2
- Tribal Narrative Profile
- Native American Sex Offender Management (NASOM) Treatment and Reentry Program Training & Case Study Invitation Letter
- NASOM Contact List.
- Spiritual Religious Activity Log Sheet
- Psychosocial Evaluation
- Example. Probation Report
- Community Service Log Sheet
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