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Rivers Case Managers Receive Training

Submitted by Cedric R. Hendricks, Associate Director, Office of Legislative, Intergovernmental and Public Affairs
(CSOSA Newslink, Fall 2004)

A team of four case managers from the Rivers Correctional Institution spent October 19-20 at CSOSA learning the details of our business process and forming personal bonds with staff previously known only by name and voice. Tina Copeland, Jana Perkerson, Yolanda Swain and Orlandors Davis comprise half of Rivers total compliment of case managers. Their training visit was arranged by OLIPA and CSS in response to a request from Rivers' Assistant Warden for Programs, David Farmer. The shared objective is to improve the communication and working relationship between our respective staffs, particularly in connection with pre-release assessment and transition planning. Assistant Warden Farmer wants to send the other four case managers, and the institution's unit managers in the near future.

After being welcomed to the agency by Director Paul A. Quander, Jr. and CSS Associate Director Tom Williams, the Rivers case managers were briefed on the Citywide Re-entry Strategy by Senior Program Analyst Bryan Young, and on the new Auto-Screener by Office of Research and Evaluation Director Dr. Calvin Johnson. Next, they met with our Transitional Interventions for Parole Supervision (TIPS) unit, with which they work very closely processing the release plans of returning offenders. Branch Chief Edmond Pears and SCSO Elizabeth Powell explained TIPS organization and methods. Following that, the case managers accompanied TIPS officers into the field to conduct several home plan investigations and visit a homeless shelter.

Rev. Stephen Tucker hosted the team for dinner at New Commandment Baptist Church where they were also provided a briefing on the CSOSA Faith Community Partnership and the provision of faith-based mentoring services.

The first day ended at the Taylor Street Field Unit attending a Mass Orientation for offenders in PSAs 301 and 302. Several of the case managers' former clients were present.

Day two of the training began with briefings on general supervision, the Day Reporting Center (DRC) and the VOTEE Unit. Among the CSOSA staff delivering presentations were CSO Rosa Lara and DRC Director Curtis Atkinson, along with Melvena Boykins, Sara Nebiyeloul and Miriam Murill of the Taylor Street Learning Lab staff.

Next, the case managers had a second opportunity to go in the field, visiting the Assessment and Orientation Center (AOC), and the Shaw II and EFEC Community Corrections Centers. At the AOC, Clinic Manager Kevin Lineburger, accompanied by Program Manager Leslie Cooper, Branch Chief John Milam and SCSO DeAndro Baker led a discussion about our substance abuse assessment and treatment efforts.

Later, Branch Chief Michael Gunn provided the case managers with a tour of the Illegal Substance Collection Unit at 300 Indiana. After a briefing about Interstate Supervision, the team met with SCSO Sharon Barnes-Durbin and the staff of the Data Management Group who explained our parole intake and record management processes. Finally, SCSO Paul Brennan explained how sex offender registration and GPS monitoring are done.

Upon their return to Rivers, the case managers told Assistant Warden Farmer that they had gained a far better understanding of CSOSA's structure and functions. They also had ideas about how to work more effectively with our staff. Farmer said he considered the training mission a success. The second group of case managers is expected to visit CSOSA on December 14-15, 2004.

Special thanks is due to CSS Executive Assistant Christine Keels, Branch Chief William Ashe, and Deputy Director Adrienne Poteat for assisting me with the planning of this training experience.

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