Criminal Justice Screening

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SCREENING

AND ADMISSION POLICY GUIDELINES

 I.      PURPOSE:

 To define policies, responsibilities, procedures, and restrictions for the intake, assessment and treatment of residents with criminal justice issues to the RVCP Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing Program.

 RVCP will insure that all applicants will be handled under strict compliance with the following policies and procedures.

  1. Every effort will be undertaken to insure all potential criminal justice issues are discovered, and addressed in a timely manner in the intake and assessment process.
  1. Confidentiality is critical.  Criminal Justice issues pertaining to any resident will only be discussed in private, with staff members pertinent to the issue.  Criminal Justice issues will not be discussed in public, in front of other residents, or with any other site staff who are without a need to know, or are not incidental to any case plan for monitoring or treating the veteran.  Criminal Justice issues will not be casually discussed among staff members.
  2. A conviction for a violent felony may be a barrier to admission to RVCP’s Transitional Housing Program.  An eligible veteran who successfully completes treatment and/or counseling programs designed to correct, ameliorate, and mitigate the behaviors attendant to the crime may be considered for admission.
  3. Any criminal justice issue may be a barrier to admission if, in the judgment of the staff assigned to the program, the veteran is inappropriate for admission due to a need for care that is beyond the capability of the program site to provide.

II.   RESPONSIBILITY:
 

A.  The Director and case management staff are responsible for program implementation, coordination, documentation, and insuring evaluations occur with applicants to the program.

  1. Site staff will have primary responsibility in determining and evaluating all criminal justice issues during regular admissions as well as in emerging crisis situations that develop with residents.
  2. The RVCP Veteran Services Director is responsible for screening applicants for Criminal Justice issues and maintaining accurate documentation of all criminal justice issues as it pertains to moving an applicant into or through the program.
  3. The Director will determine if an offender with a felony conviction for a violent assault will be admitted to the program.
  4. All will insure these policies and procedures are followed.

III.  PROCEDURES:

A.  General Requirements:

1.   All residents will undergo assessment for criminal justice issues.  This process will begin upon determination that a veteran referred to the program is eligible.  The veteran then executes the requisite information release forms.  Screening staff must obtain all relevant documentation on any past, ongoing and emerging criminal justice issues.

2.   The RVCP Assessment Coordinator will administer the LSI-R assessment to determine risk, needs and responsibility levels.

3.   The above information will serve as a basis for initial staffing for residency of the applicant. The Director and case management staff will evaluate and make recommendations for alternative treatment for the resident if the veteran has issues that cannot be adequately addressed within the program.

4.  The RVCP Executive Director must concur in all admissions of applicants with criminal justice issues.

B.  Specific Considerations:

If the veteran has a conviction for a violent or sexual assault, the screening process will require the following from the veteran’s agent: (Please note:  RVCP is unable to accept 980 Sexual Predator status clients in the veteran’s program.)

1.   A statement that the veteran has successfully completed all significant required programs relative to the assault.  If he has successfully completed some, but has ongoing treatment needs, how will those be addressed?

2.  An assessment from the agent of the vet’s risk to the community.  If he requires constant monitoring because of a high risk of offending, or contacting the victim, he is inappropriate to the security level of the site.

3.  Assurance from the DOC that he is, or will be, clear for admission.  The local community corrections activity may not want to supervise a particular offender, which would preclude his admission.

4.  In this dialogue with the agent, insure that the agent understands that there is absolutely NO requirement on RVCP’s part to provide any level of security for this individual relative to insuring safety of the community.  If RVCP admits to the site, the veteran is free to leave at any time, and for any reason.  RVCP will notify the agent as soon as possible but is not able to provide immediate notification.  If the veteran requires any of the above, he is inappropriate for the program.

If the veteran passes the above screens and there is the issue of whether or not the program is appropriate, he must have issues that can be adequately addressed by the program; other than a need for a secure environment so that he does not offend.