The pilot, Returning Home-Ohio (RHO), took 84 former prisoners from ODRC and placed them in supportive housing. Monarch first reported on this innovative program in August 2012.
The project’s goal was to reduce recidivism and homelessness through supportive housing for prisoners with disabilities who were at risk for housing instability and were leaving prison while seeing if this would reduce costs for the system overall. The premise behind the project was to see if supportive housing projects, which have been shown to be effective for the chronically homeless population, would work just as well for those released from incarceration. This pilot is the first to directly target supportive housing to the reentry population as they left prison.
The following results were apparent after it’s first year:
There was a reduction in arrests for members in the pilot program versus those that were not;
Participants were also less likely to be reincarcerated; and
Additionally members of the pilot program were much more likely to be delivered substance abuse and mental health services.
Unfortunately, participation in the program resulted in an increase in costs in the short term. Cost per person increased almost $10,000 in the 1st year out of prison. While costs in the short term increase, if further study is conducted, it may show that increased costs in the short term would lead to decreased cost in the long term since individuals in the program are less likely to be re-incarcerated, are staying housed and off the streets and are being treated for their disabilities.