Attorney General Eric Holder today announced $58 million in Second Chance Act grant funding to reduce recidivism, provide reentry services, conduct research and evaluate the impact of reentry programs. Attorney General Holder also highlighted the department’s efforts to support research and evidence-based practices and its work with state departments of correction to set recidivism reduction goals .
“Thanks to the collaborative efforts of law enforcement leaders, community-based organizations, and departments of corrections – as well as a variety of groundbreaking projects that have been funded through Second Chance Act grant awards – a number of states have shown significant reductions in the three-year recidivism rate,” said Attorney General Holder.
The Second Chance Act (SCA) programs, administered through the department’s Office of Justice Programs, are designed to help communities develop and implement comprehensive strategies to address the challenges faced by incarcerated adults and youth when they return to their communities following release from confinement.
“R eentry efforts can result in less crime, lower recidivism, fewer victims and improved public safety,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Mary Lou Leary. “These are critical goals of the criminal justice field, and we are working to give communities the tools, support and guidance to achieve these goals.”
Of the $58.5 million (98 awards) announced, more than $47 million (94 awards) are for family-based substance abuse treatment; treatment of returning prisoners with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders; adult and juvenile reentry demonstration projects; state, local, and tribal reentry courts; adult mentoring programs; and technology career training projects for incarcerated adults and juveniles. The remaining $10.5 million support evaluation, training and technical assistance for grantees and the reentry field at large.
OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) awards support jurisdictions which propose to plan or implement a “Pay for Success” model into their reentry initiative. Pay for Success represents a new way to achieve positive outcomes for the criminal justice population with external financing and at a lower risk and cost to governments. BJA is making two Pay for Success awards: an implementation award to Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and a planning award to Lowell, Mass., and is funding the Urban Institute’s efforts to develop a blueprint for municipal, state and federal governments to use to pay for evidence-based anti-crime programs. BJA is also funding three new programs this year:
· The Adult Offender Comprehensive Statewide Recidivism Reduction Demonstration Program awards $6.1 million to seven states for programs aimed at achieving reductions in baseline recidivism rates through planning, capacity-building, and implementing effective and evidence-based interventions.
· Smart Probation: Reducing Prison Populations, Saving Money and Creating Safer Communities includes nine awards totaling $3.7 million to states and local communities to develop and implement evidenced-based probation practices aimed at improving probationer outcomes and specifically reducing recidivism rates.
“Second Chance Act funding enables states, localities and tribes to identify, target and serve moderate and high risk individuals reentering communities.” said BJA Director Denise E. O’Donnell. “The reentry process begins when an individual enters incarceration and ends upon successful reintegration in the community. Using these evidence –based interventions results in safer and healthier communities.”
OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention announced nearly $1.8 million to support four new juvenile reentry demonstration projects and more than $3.4 million to continue to fund six existing juvenile reentry programs across the country. With approximately 100,000 youth released from confinement each year, these programs aim to promote public safety by helping youth successfully transition from juvenile residential facilities to their communities.
OJP’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will fund evaluations of the SCA Adult Offender Reentry Demonstration projects and the SCA Juvenile Reentry Demonstration Projects. In addition, NIJ will seek to expand knowledge about reentry and recidivism through a number of research projects, including the following:
· Desistence from Crime over the Life Course ($998,221), Research Triangle Institute.
· Executive Session on Community Corrections ($993,386), President and Fellows of Harvard College.
· State-Mandated Criminal Background Employment Screening: A High Stakes Window into the Desistance Process ($706,943), State University of New York, Albany, N.Y.
· “The Impact of Video Visitation on Corrections Staff, Inmates and their Families” ($355,296), Vera Institute of Justice.
· Ph.D. Graduate Research Fellowship, “The Effect of Collateral Consequence Laws on State Rates of Returns to Prison” ($25,000), University of Maryland, College Park, Md.
Through a cooperative agreement to the Council of State Governments Justice Center OJP operates the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC). The NRRC offers training and technical assistance for Second Chance Act grantees, provides distance learning and other reentry resources to the field, and administers the “What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse.” NRRC collaborates with other federal agencies focused on reentry activities and with the Attorney General’s Federal Interagency Reentry Council and its staff working group.
A list of all OJP grant awards is available at: www.ojp.gov/funding/funding.htm .
For more information on the NRRC: www.nationalreentryresourcecenter.org .
For more information on the Reentry Council: www.nationalreentryresourcecenter.org/reentry-council .