5-Key Model for Reentry

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The 5-Key Model for Reentry translates the key ingredients of successful reentry into a flexible approach that can be implemented at different levels of intensity. Specialized enhancements are provided based on individual needs, which means resources are not wasted on a one-size-fits-all approach. The 5-Key Model extends beyond simply helping people to find a job after prison, instead helping individuals address substance use and mental health challenges while building support and finding meaningful work in their communities.

The 5-Key Model can be implemented by a range of professionals working in a variety of settings, and is paired with modules of evidence-driven engagement and retention strategies to help those leaving prison show up, participate, and succeed.

The 5-Key Model is based on an extensive research review of over 100,000 studies worldwide which found that, in general, there are five key ingredients to successful reentry. The 5-Key Model is a package of service approaches that addresses each of these ingredients as early as possible during an individual’s incarceration to help ease the transition and catalyze growth. The five key ingredients are:

Key 1: Healthy thinking patterns
Key 2: Meaningful work trajectories
Key 3: Effective coping strategies
Key 4: Positive social engagement
Key 5: Positive interpersonal relationships

Currently, we are testing the 5-Key Model with nearly 1,600 individuals in four states, 12 urban and rural counties, and 50 prisons across the US. Real-time results of this innovative research and more information on the development of the intervention itself can be accessed here