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In Thunder Bay, COVID-19 has increased the volume and frequency of people being released from custody. Without supports and accommodation, those released could be at imminent risk of criminalization, victimization and/or harm. There is less capacity in shelters and bail bed programs due to physical distancing requirements in place. Those from First Nation communities may not be able to return home due to emergency closure orders.
- COVID-19 Release from Custody Task Force meets daily (as needed) for 1-hour virtual meetings.
- Ramps up existing discharge planning process and leverages the four-filter approach of the Situation Table to plan for the short-term.
- Leverages established policies, procedures, database, training and non-disclosure agreements.
- Referral sources: jail, corrections, police, defense counsel, NALSC.
- A complementary Senior Leadership Team meets weekly to address gaps and barriers.
- Thunder Bay Jail and Correctional Centre are very engaged in the process.
- Strong commitment of partners across the community leads to robust planning.
- Reduces up-front risk for individuals by connecting them to short-term supports and services before their risk elevates, while also planning for longer-term arrangements.
- Return to home community is coordinated.
- Uses a Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycle to rapidly test improvement.
- Consent obtained from person prior to release
- Referral reviewed at COVID-19 RFC Task Force meeting prior to release
- Four filter approach to information-sharing applied
- Robust short-term stabilization plan completed
- Services and supports provided upon release
- Longer-term planning takes place including coordination of return to home community
For more information on the COVID-19 Release from Custody Task Force, contact: Julia MacArthur firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Capon email@example.com
To share your innovation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.