The Justice Department has awarded more than $62 million in grants to strengthen efforts to help people returning from prison rejoin their communities and become productive, law-abiding citizens. This grant announcement was made by Attorney General Eric Holder today while in St. Louis, where he visited Project EARN, a Drug Reentry Court program. Attorney General Holder delivered remarks to the program’s graduates and emphasized that successful reentry is a top priority at the Justice Department and a central part of his new “Smart on Crime” initiative.
“Over the course of my career, I’ve seen just how important – and powerful – reentry programs can be,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “I learned how this cycle weakens communities, tears families apart and destroys individual lives. If more communities adopt reentry programs like the one I witnessed today in St. Louis, it will reduce criminal justice spending, ensure the fairest possible outcomes, and forge the stronger, safer communities that all of our citizens deserve.”
Later today, Attorney General Holder will travel to Peoria, Ill., to attend a pre-court meeting with judges and pretrial service officers. He will also deliver remarks at an alternative to detention court hearing.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) made these 112 competitive and supplemental Second Chance Act (SCA) awards to state, tribal and local governments, and non-profit organizations to reduce recidivism, provide reentry services, conduct research and evaluate the impact of reentry programs. The SCA programs, administered through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), are designed to help communities develop and implement comprehensive strategies to reduce recidivism and address the challenges faced by incarcerated adults and youth when they return to their communities following release from confinement.
“Effective reentry services are critical to helping formerly incarcerated individuals remain crime-free and become productive, law-abiding citizens,” said Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs Karol V. Mason. “The awards continue this Administration’s commitment to achieving sustainable reductions in recidivism and improving the safety of our communities.”
“We must continue to draw on the science of recidivism reduction and what works to ensure that the right people get the right integrated interventions at the right times,” said BJA Director Denise E. O’Donnell.
Of the over $62 million in funding provided, more than $57 million (91 BJA awards and 19 OJJDP awards) supports smart probation projects, treatment of returning adult and juveniles with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders; adult and juvenile reentry demonstration projects; adult mentoring programs; technology career training projects for incarcerated adults and juveniles; and demonstration field experiments to test a parole reentry model. The remaining $5.4 million supports two awards for evaluation activities and training and technical assistance for Second Chance Act grantees and the reentry field in general.
OJJDP awarded more than $9.7 million in Second Chance Act Juvenile Reentry Program grant awards to reduce recidivism and assist youth in successfully returning to their communities after secure confinement. This includes $176,000 to assist four jurisdictions in planning a juvenile reentry program, and $6,573,177 for ten jurisdictions to implement evidence-based reentry programs that provide a comprehensive range of services for juveniles up to 18 years of age. This also includes $2,977,252 for five community programs to reduce long-term alcohol and other substance abuse among youth in secure confinement facilities and to increase drug treatment and mental health services for these youth.
“Too many young people caught up in the juvenile justice system fail to return to school, find a job, or live healthy, drug-free lives after being confined,” said OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee. “These grants will help them find a path out of crime and delinquency and begin to make positive contributions to their communities.”
OJP will also continue to provide reentry resources to the field through the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC), through a cooperative agreement with the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, administered by BJA. The NRRC offers training and technical assistance for SCA 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.
For a list of all OJP grant awards, please visit: www.ojp.gov/funding/funding.htm.
For more information on the NRRC, please visit: www.nationalreentryresourcecenter.org.
For more information on the Federal Reentry Council, please visit: csgjusticecenter.org/nrrc/projects/firc/.
The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking.