Building Second Chances: Tools for Local Reentry Coalitions

PARTS 1 & 2

This toolkit is designed for local city, county, and community leaders who want to play an active role in improving reentry policy, practice, and outcomes. Within, you will find user-friendly references to seminal publications, research findings, and noteworthy examples of the foundational knowledge needed to design new reentry strategies and reinvigorate existing ones.

Compile a strategic plan Icon of pdf document

Here you’ll learn how to create strategic plan that articulates clear, deliberate steps for making improvements and tracking progress. Building on the priorities, goals, and change mechanisms your local reentry coalition has formulated together, you’ll plot out the components of your strategic plan and the action steps needed to achieve each proposed improvement. 

The information and resources in this section include:

The information below provides some examples of building blocks for consideration in constructing your coalition's strategic plan:

Building Blocks of a Strategic Plan

Priorities are the key issues that your local reentry coalition seeks to influence.

Goals are statements of the critical, measurable milestones you will need to reach to address your reentry priorities.

Proposed improvements are the policy and practice changes your coalition has identified to meet your goals. Each goal likely will be attached to multiple proposed improvements.

Mechanisms are the methods by which the policy or practice changes will be carried out (e.g., legislative policy, administrative policy).

Primary stakeholders and decision makers are the people from whom your local reentry coalition needs to focus on obtaining buy-in to make the policy or practice change happen successfully.

Performance measures are the indicators your coalition will monitor to track the progress of each proposed improvement.

Action steps are time-bound, achievable activities that can be used to maintain accountability and help the local reentry coalition monitor progress.

These Questions to Consider will help you think about factors to consider when creating your coalition’s strategic plan:

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Questions to Consider
Circular icon of two gears connected in a square path Are you accounting for the resources needed to carry out your priorities?
A crucial part of the strategic planning process is determining what resources you will need to carry out each item in your strategic plan. The work you have done to assess existing resources in Section 1 will serve as a useful basis for identifying resources, and the strategies covered in Section 3 can be used to drive fundraising efforts if more resources are required.
Circular icon of an object being twisted Is your strategic plan flexible?
Establish a process to regularly revisit your strategic plan, check your progress, and make adjustments as necessary, including when any elements of the landscape change or as you encounter obstacles. Use reentry coalition meetings to review progress made and troubleshoot any issues hindering your advancement.
Circular icon of a flag-topped mountain Are all of your action steps in service of your local reentry coalition’s goals?
In cases where there are many opportunities for improvement, it is common to slip into activities that do not clearly correspond with the stated goals of your local reentry coalition. The worksheet in Appendix D is designed to focus your efforts and help ensure that each discrete activity in your strategic plan is consistent with your coalition’s overall reentry goals.