The Textizen Blog

DEC 22 2014

Textizen Partners with Philadelphia RISE to Fight Recidivism

RISE header

Image via Joshua Davis (CC SA 2.0).

With the U.S. having the second-highest incarceration rate in the world (707 out of every 100,000 people) and a rearrest rate of 67.8%, many voices are calling for solutions to reduce convictions and to improve prisoners’ reentry into society. Last summer, the City of Philadelphia decided to turn to the tech world for innovative solutions, inviting companies to offer their technology through the FastFWD pilot program. Now, Textizen has joined the City to improve outlooks for those returning to society.

Textizen will be contributing to the effort against recidivism through a partnership with the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Reintegration Services, or RISE. The agency will use Textizen to help case workers better serve their clients, while using data gathered in the process to evaluate the program’s effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.

Case worker network

Improving Efficiency, Measuring Results

With 8 case workers on staff, each one responsible for roughly 80 program participants, a major challenge for RISE is directing help where it is most needed. The agency also works hard to make sure that clients are informed of all the resources available to them through the program.

With Textizen, brief text surveys sent to participants will enable case workers to evaluate and prioritize clients for extra counseling and support. RISE will also use texts to inform participants of events such as job fairs, and follow up with attendees about their experiences to inform future events.

Verification of income is important for the re-entry program, and RISE intends to make this process easier for participants as well. Rather than having to track down a fax machine or deliver forms in-person, clients will be able to send photo messages of pay stubs to their case managers. RISE expects this will save cost and hassle on both sides, while improving verification rates.

On top of streamlining operations, Textizen will allow RISE to track its results like never before, surveying participants before, during, and after their tenure. This data will provide insights into program effectiveness, and enable the City to demonstrate its impact on the lives of the formerly incarcerated.

We look forward to sharing more information and results of this unique partnership after the program’s official launch in early 2015.

Read more about how Philadelphia’s prisons are embracing technology, and learn how Jail Education Solutions is contributing their mobile tech to help inmates educate themselves, on CNN Money.

If you’re ready to use mobile to improve your case management, get in touch: hello@textizen.com.