“Meet Them Where They're At”

How Community Health Workers Help Navigate Reentry

By Ann Bickerton, Sara Ellis, Emmi Obara

In 2018 the Los Angeles County Office of Diversion and Reentry launched the Reentry Intensive Case Management Services (RICMS) program, which aims to remove barriers to successful reentry following time in jail, in prison, or on probation. A key component of the RICMS model is the role of Community Health Workers, who share their lived experience with program clients and help navigate them to needed services. This brief draws on preliminary research conducted by MDRC as part of an implementation and outcomes study of RICMS that will be completed in 2023. The brief describes the role of Community Health Workers, outlines the strategies they use to serve clients, and offers insights for reentry providers who are interested in incorporating lived experience into their approach to serving clients.

Bickerton, Ann, Sara Ellis, and Emmi Obara. 2022. ““Meet Them Where They're At”.” New York: MDRC.