As an alternative to incarceration, in 2018 Los Angeles County launched the Reentry Intensive Case Management Services (RICMS) program. The RICMS program coordinates the services of multiple community-based service providers throughout LA County. It links people who have been involved with the criminal legal system to community health workers, many of whom have personal experience with incarceration, substance use disorders and addiction, and other issues RICMS clients face. These community health workers provide case management services and mentorship, and help clients navigate the many services and other forms of support available to them.
MDRC evaluated the implementation of the RICMS program and found that the program is a promising approach to improving the lives of its clients, particularly by reducing their future contact with the criminal legal system. As part of the evaluation, in 2021 and 2022 an MDRC research team conducted semistructured interviews with RICMS community health workers and clients to learn more about how services are delivered and about the experiences of RICMS clients. This brief presents the stories and experiences they shared.