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Transition and Discharge Planning of Prisoners Essay



Transitional planning is a core component of the individual educational plan (IEP) as it provides learners with an opportunity to assess their skills, abilities, and current demands to create the basis for their professional and personal development. When applied to delinquent youth, transitional planning is particularly important because it offers a chance to avoid recidivism and achieve a better future.

The given project is devoted to the investigation of transition plans for under 21 years of age students who are involved in correctional education. The theoretical framework for the project will be created via the literature review of relevant literature devoted to the issue. The following plan for the selection of sources can be suggested.

First of all, the background of the topic should be investigated. It means that sources related to the history of transition plans, their implementation, and use along with the basics of correctional education and its role in modern society should be analyzed. That is why on-line databases such as JSTOR, SAGE, Researchgate should be used to find appropriate sources. Thus, works by Gonzalez (2014) and Vaugh (2017) can be utilized to delve into the given aspect.

As for the institutional peculiarities of the researched issue, the Transition Toolkit provided by NDTAC (2016) should be reviewed. It contains all legal aspects and frameworks needed for the efficient transition and creation of the environment promoting the successful change. The guide can be found on the special site devoted to the problem. There is also the demand for the literature about the interaction between the main stakeholders during the process. The appropriate article by Hirschfield (2014) is stored at the Researchgate database.

Thus, the contribution of the given practice to the development of the society along with global aspects of the topic can be evidenced using the article by Blomberg, Mann, Dales, and Berk (2011) where they cogitate about the necessity to introduce such program, effective measures to assist youth, and what impact they have on the comprehensive society. Finally, it is critical to apply a logic evaluation model presupposing input, process, output, and outcomes to outline the central peculiarities of the discussed issue and formulate and appropriate theoretical framework.


In recent years, the importance of rehabilitation of young criminals has increased significantly. To a greater degree, it is explained by the shift of priorities towards the humanistic values and their cultivation. The prevalence of this paradigm explains the dominance of the idea that everyone should be given a second chance to reunite with the society and interact with people to contribute to the further development of the community (Vaugh, 2017).

Transitional planning becomes a key to success in this context. It can be defined as the assistance provided to students to determine activities they might need to meet their current requirements (Vaugh, 2017). Applying it to the sphere of correctional education, transition planning includes providing support to delinquent youth in order to reduce the risk of recidivism and ensure that a person will avoid illegal activities.

Collecting and Organizing Literature

The resources used in the literature review were gathered from scholarly databases based on the following criteria. First of all, the chosen items had to draw on action science, as it allows linking research and theory to practice, which is essential to exploring the topic of transitional planning. Secondly, the literature had to explain the interrelationship between various systems that are involved in transitional planning, including the justice system and the educational system.

This was an important criterion, as transitional planning is a multifaceted practice that requires the inclusion of different professionals. Thirdly, helpful publications also had to relate to the theory of specialization by defining the roles of different parties involved or differentiating between processes of transitional planning that apply to youth based on the committed offense.

Lastly, the resources used in the literature review had to conform to the change theory. When applied to transitional planning, the change theory can assist in setting long-term goals and short-term objectives while also defining the prerequisites necessary for reaching them. Thus, the change theory can be used to support transitional planning by assisting the youth in the process of re-integration into society.

A particular concept that is related to the change theory and can also be applied to the topic is the appreciative inquiry. It is a framework that consists of five steps used to reflect on a particular experience and use it to facilitate personal change (Bonham, 2011). In transitional planning, an appreciative inquiry can be used by youth to determine what they have learned from their experience and transfer this knowledge to the process of planning for a better future.

Once these criteria were clearly defined, they were applied to all research articles and official publications on the topic of transitional planning. These were found in Elsevier and Google Scholar databases using the search terms “transitional planning”, “youth delinquency”, and “incarceration of youth”. A brief content analysis was also used to distinguish between helpful publications and resources that did not apply to the project.

The organization of material was carried out based on the various aspects of the topic in order to ensure appropriate specialization in the review. The publications that discussed one of the following aspects were used in the appropriate section of the literature review: historical, institutional, political, educational, national, and global. The chosen process of searching for and organizing the literature enabled to perform a structured inquiry into the topic and evaluate its key aspects.

Historical Aspect

Historically, the problem of former prisoners’ integration with the society has always been topical. The increased importance of the problem gave rise to attempts to assist young people in their desire to succeed in life and step away from the criminal past. Gonzalez (2014) states that incarceration rates since the 1970s have been extremely escalating, which means that more and more young people found themselves in prison and faced multiple challenges related to their reintegration with the society.

Thus, the growing number of young offenders means the rise of the risk group characterized by the high probability of recidivism because of the inability to find the appropriate activity that would promote their development (Gonzalez, 2014). It served as the stimulus for the rise of correctional education and the use of transitional planning. Today, there are many approaches to increase the efficiency of this tool, which evidences the increased significance of the topic and the necessity of its further development.

Institutional and Political Aspects

The significance of transitional planning for corrective education is also evidenced by the fact that there are multiple institutional aspects connected with the issue. In recommendations provided by NDTAC (2016), the plan should be coordinated, results-oriented, and promote successful movement between the facility and the community. Coordination means cooperation with the local and state agencies to create the legal basis for the implementation of this intervention and work with this category of students (NDTAC, 2016). The modern legislation provides multiple opportunities for both educators and learners to select a plan that meets all existing requirements of an individual.

Moreover, revolving around the importance of the institutional level and cooperation between various actors, the guide outlines the necessity to introduce the constant monitoring of academic successes by other educators, agencies, and by the appropriate financing (NDTAC, 2016). For this reason, the participation of the local government becomes another central factor of an efficient transition plan designed for problematic young people as there is the need for legal basis along with the opportunity to engage in particular activities.

Educational Aspect

Hirschfield (2014) states that the efficient transitional plan should be preceded by the assessment of individuals’ needs to ensure that only demanded career opportunities and learning courses will be offered. It can be achieved if there is direct cooperation between an educator and representatives of incarceration facility who provide data about the existing problems and outline the necessity of change.

Thus, the article highlights the importance of collaboration between educators and institutions (Hirschfield, 2014). The involvement of policymakers is also advised, as a successful transitional program for incarcerated youth should be supported by appropriate alterations in policies (Hirschfield, 2014). The approach recommended by the author involves policymakers and school officials, as the main stakeholders, outlining the existing needs and finding solutions to eliminate barriers to education together.

National and Global Aspects

Finally, the importance and unique significance of transmission planning for incarcerated students are evidenced by the fact that it has a significant impact on local and global societies. Today, about 3500 offenders aged 18 go to prison every year in the USA (Blomberg et al., 2011). The given number is unacceptably high as there is a 92% reoffending rate among this very population group. It means that every year the number of young people in these facilities will increase (Blomberg et al., 2011).

In the future, it will constitute a serious problem to the society as the youth is one of the main moving forces that preconditions the further evolution of communities. That is why the problem acquires the top priority as it affects the whole nation. In this regard, transition planning becomes one of the possible ways to improve the situation by decreasing the risk of reoffending and assisting young individuals in their reintegration with the society.

Blomberg et al. (2011) are sure that transition from delinquency and incarceration become the main problem of the comprehensive society. In this regard, the issue affects all levels of the state. The increased number of reintegrated young people will help to align the more efficient functioning of various agencies and at the same time create the environment beneficial for the further change and improvement of the central spheres of human activity (Blomberg et al., 2011). In this regard, transition planning should be further cultivated with the primary aim to reduce the number of young criminals and assist them in their attempts to improve their living conditions and become members of certain communities.


In such a way, the analyzed literature is united in the opinion that the practice of transition planning is an efficient tool that can help incarcerated youth to reconsider its motifs and behaviors and reintegrate with the society.

Applying the logic evaluation model, there is an apparent regularity mentioned by all authors. The input of particular efforts aimed at the rehabilitation of the youth during the process of education is analyzed regarding the output and outcomes which are the desired level of socialization among students under 21. In this regard, the correctional education supported by individuals transitional planning are considered potent tools the implementation of which follows particular logic and can be justified by the appropriate outcomes that can be expected at the end of the process.

Nevertheless, the literature discussed in the review also had some limitations. For example, only NDTAC (2016) considered the role of peer groups in transition and explained its benefits. As peer pressure is proven to be connected to delinquency in youth, not considering this factor in transitional planning creates a significant gap. Similarly, most resources did not consider the role of families in the process of transition, which could also prove to be a limitation. In order to address these gaps, it would be useful to increase the number of resources used in the paper and search for specific publications that include the concepts of peer groups and family support in the inquiry.


Altogether, the existing literature devoted to the issue of transitional planning for correctional education supports the high efficiency of the given approach and emphasizes the necessity of its wide use in all incarceration. However, to be efficient, the given tool demands cooperation between the main stakeholders of the process which are facilities, school districts, local authorities, policymakers, and educators.

Only their close interaction and coordination of all actions will help to achieve success and provide a young person with the opportunity to transit from crime to socially accepted behavior that can help him/her to build a career and engage in various activities. Transitional planning becomes the key to success and improvement of the global situation related to this very issue.


Blomberg, T., Mann, K., Dales, W., & Berk, R. (2011). Incarceration, education and transition from delinquency. Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(4), 355-365. Web.

Bonham, E. (2011). Appreciative inquiry in youthful offender psychiatric nursing research. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 24(2), 122-129.

Gonzalez, N. (2014). . Web.

Hirschfield, P. (2014). Effective and promising practices in transitional planning and school reentry. The Journal of Correctional Education 65 (2), 84-96. Web.

NDTAC. (2016). . Web.

Vaugh, S. (2017). Compulsory: Education and the dispossession of youth in a prison school. Minneapolis, MN: Univ of Minnesota Press.

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