Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Juvenile Justice Residential Services (PA-JJR) 15: Planning for Reentry and Aftercare

The agency and youth work together to plan for transition and prepare for life after residential care.


If another party (e.g., an aftercare case manager) is responsible for providing aftercare, they may play a role in implementing the practices addressed in this section. However, the agency is still expected to partner with that party to facilitate effective reentry planning, and ensure that the standards are implemented.
NA The agency provides only detention services.
2020 Edition




Juvenile Justice Residential Services promote public safety by providing youth with a supportive, structured setting that helps them address their needs and develop the attitudes and skills needed to make responsible choices, avoid negative behaviors, and become productive, connected, and law-abiding citizens.
Note: Although “Planning for Reentry and Aftercare” is a specific core concept standard, it is important to note that reentry preparation is not actually an entirely separate practice. In contrast, the services provided throughout residential care should be designed to help youth avoid reoffending behavior and become productive members of society.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Reentry planning procedures
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Youth served and their families
  • Review case records

PA-JJR 15.01

To ensure an orderly transition from residential care: 
  1. reentry planning begins soon after youth arrive at the facility; and
  2. youth, their family members, and relevant personnel are involved in developing plans for transition and aftercare.


If another organization or party (e.g., an aftercare case manager) is primarily responsible for providing aftercare, they should be involved in the planning process as soon as possible.

PA-JJR 15.02

Aftercare plans are linked to service plans and specify how to address risks, needs, and strengths in areas relevant to reentry, including, as appropriate:
  1. living arrangements;
  2. family relationships;
  3. peer groups and support networks;
  4. recreational activities;
  5. health;
  6. mental health;
  7. substance use conditions;
  8. finding and enrolling in appropriate education services, such as high school or GED programs, vocational training programs, special education services, and colleges or universities; and
  9. obtaining legitimate employment.


Living arrangements following residential care may vary based on a youth’s age, developmental level, and family situation. Although youth will often return to their families, the agency should have a system in place to ensure this is safe and appropriate. To facilitate a more gradual transition, some agencies may transfer youth to less-restrictive residential facilities, such as group homes, before they transition to longer-term living arrangements.

PA-JJR 15.03

The agency works with resources, services, and supports specified in the aftercare plan to:
  1. ensure that youth are admitted to appropriate programs before release from residential care;
  2. prepare service providers and others in the community for youths’ arrival; and
  3. build positive connections to support youth after release.

PA-JJR 15.04

The agency provides youth with advance notice of the cessation of any health, financial, or other benefits that may occur at release, and:
  1. helps youth sign up for alternative health insurance or other appropriate benefits, when available; or 
  2. provides information about other options that can help meet youths’ needs, such as free clinics.

PA-JJR 15.05

Youth are helped to obtain or compile any documents they may need after release, including, as appropriate to youths’ ages and needs:
  1. an identification card;
  2. a social security or social insurance number;
  3. a resume;
  4. a driver’s license, when the ability to drive is an appropriate goal;
  5. medical records and documentation;
  6. a birth certificate;
  7. documentation of immigration, citizenship, or naturalization, if applicable;
  8. death certificates when parents are deceased;
  9. a list of known relatives, with relationships, addresses, telephone numbers, and permissions for contacting involved parties; and
  10. educational records.