A- A A+
English Spanish
Upcoming Public Meetings COVID-19 Resources

Justice: Release, Reentry, and Reintegration

The purpose of this initiative is to improve transition outcomes after incarceration for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD). 

Why is NCCDD funding this initiative?Goal 2 of the new Five Year Plan: Increase community living for individuals with I/DD.

  • There are approximately 2.2 million adults in the U.S. prison system, of which an estimated 750,000 are individuals with disabilities. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2015, 32% of federal prisoners and 40% of people in jails self-identify as having a disability.
  • People with disabilities face a higher risk of entering the justice system than people without disabilities.
  • Incarcerated people with disabilities need training in skills and connections to resources to successfully reintegrate into society, and time served should become time for preparation.
  • A report by the North Carolina Sentencing and Advisory Policy Commission (April 2018) indicated that, of 47,613 individuals released or on probation from the NC state prisons between 2013 and 2015, the recidivism rate was 41%. These statistical reports present gender and ethnicity/race-related data but lack disability-related data.
  • Legislation and initiatives to set the stage for a more successful reentry system include the NC Justice Reinvestment Act (June 2011), the State Reentry Council Collaborative (2017) and the North Carolina Reentry Action Plan (February 2018).

What are the major goals and objectives?

  • The purpose of this initiative is to improve transition outcomes after incarceration for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD).
  • This initiative focuses on recidivism reduction (rearrest, reconviction or reincarceration) by expanding successful practices for reintegration into the community from incarceration for individuals with I/DD.
  • Transitioning into and living in the community with the supports and services necessary to thrive is a component of this initiative.
  • The goal for this initiative is to reduce the recidivism such that at least 80% of participants live in the community successfully for 7 years following release, at least 80% will secure a job interview, at least 80% will complete a travel training program and at least 80% will express satisfaction with peer support services.

What activities will this initiative set out to do?

  • Establish and develop in-reach activities and begin preparing participants for release.
  • Identify 3 to 4 state prisons that will allow the contractor (the Alliance of Disability Advocates) to work with medium to close custody inmates.
  • Develop a Stakeholder Advisory group.
  • Work directly with program participants. Program participants will experience:
    • Culturally competent (inclusive, diverse) skill-building and support programming.
    • Personal and service network building, including peer support.
    • Continuity/seamless support of needed services and resources.
    • Accessibility advocacy, advocacy to remove stigmas and reduce the barriers to successful reentry.
    • Research supported well-being and esteem-building strategies.
    • Free General Educational Development (GED) training.
    • Full wraparound services for consumers in the contractor’s catchment area.

What has been achieved to date?

  • Hired and trained four paid full-time staff.
  • Initiative staff have taken Reentry Monthly Training and received an invitation to attend the Governor’s Reentry Council meetings.
  • Through previous reentry work, developed relationships with federal probation and parole officers in the Triangle region and the Orange County Commission for Reentry.
  • Made a presentation to representatives from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) and its Division of Adult Prisons.
  • Identified at least 13 state prisons that will allow the contractor to work with medium to close custody inmates.
  • Conducted monthly Collective Impact Council calls with DPS, NCCDD, and the Alliance of Disability Advocates to strategize about our re-reentry work and developed relationships with federal probation and parole officers in the Triangle region, the Orange and Durham County Commissions for Reentry (as a result of these relationships, received referrals for post-release individuals from state prisons in the Triangle region) and the Charlotte Women’s Club (donations of men’s clothing).
  • A Spectrum News story on December 30, 2020 featured the Alliance of Disability Advocates’ justice work, including a mention of this initiative: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/charlotte/news/2020/12/30/disability-advocacy-group-revamps-prison-reentry-program#
  • Received 177 referrals for pre-release individuals since January 2021 and completed 175 Individualized Reentry Plans (IRPs) with a success rate of 88 percent.
  • Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, initiative staff were initially unable to enter prisons but gained admittance as volunteers in April 2022.
  • The initiative has partnered with the Duke Justice Project where student members are assisting with fundraising for essential items and tutoring individuals who have been released on preparing to take the GED (General Educational Development) test to obtain a diploma.
  • Working with Monarch and FHI 360 for job placements for individuals after release.
  • Made a Developmental Disability Services 101 presentation to prison social workers in March 2022. More than 100 people participated.
  • Presented at the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) Annual Conference in July 2022.
  • North Carolina Health News article on September 7, 2022 featured this initiative: https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2022/09/07/after-prison-individualized-reentry-plans-are-cutting-recidivism/
  • Presented at the State Reentry Council Collaborative (SRCC) quarterly meeting in November 2022.
  • Actively searching for opportunities for funding beyond Year 3 of this initiative.

What long-term changes are expected as a result of this initiative?

  • More individuals with I/DD and other co-occurring disabilities will successfully reintegrate themselves into the community with more supports after incarceration and fewer instances of recidivism.
  • North Carolina’s prison system will have a model with culturally competent success plans to study and the right partnerships and collaborations in place to help prisoners with disabilities successfully reintegrate into the community.

How can I get involved?

Contact Vicki Smith at vicki@adanc.org


Who is the contractor?




Who can I contact for questions?

Grant Administrator:  Vicki Smith, Executive Director, Alliance of Disability Advocates, vicki@adanc.org

NCCDD: Philip Woodward, Systems Change Manager, philip.c.woodward@dhhs.nc.gov


Additional Resources

Download a pdf of the initiative: Justice: Release, Reentry and Reintegration

ADANC Reentry Presentation to NCCDD 8-6-2020 (pptx) (pdf)








Stay updated on news and events.

Sign Up

Get In Touch

Connect with the Council. We want to hear your questions, thoughts and comments.

Contact Us

North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities

Office Hours: 9AM-4PM Monday-Friday
1-800-357-6916 (Toll Free)
984-920-8200 (Office/TTY)
984-920-8201 (Fax)
This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001NCSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter and Alerts!

Invalid Input