DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $10 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR PRISONER REENTRY STRATEGIES TO PROTECT COMMUNITIES AND REDUCE VIOLENT CRIME
WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today announced more than $10 million in federal assistance to states to develop, implement, enhance and evaluate reentry strategies that will ensure the safety of the communities and the reduction of serious, violent crime throughout the United States. Funding was awarded through the President’s Prisoner Reentry Initiative (PRI).
“Supervising offenders in the community and preparing offenders for their return to their communities is a critical criminal justice priority,” said Jeffrey L. Sedgwick, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. “This funding will be used to test and deliver new ways to meet these reentry challenges and ultimately protect public safety.”
PRI is a comprehensive effort that addresses both juvenile and adult populations of serious, high-risk offenders and is designed to reduce recidivism by helping returning offenders find work and access other critical services in their communities. Specifically, the initiative helps to develop model reentry programs that begin in correctional institutions and continue throughout an offender's transition to and stabilization in the community. PRI is supported by the Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and its federal partners: the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Labor.
Earlier this month, the Council of State Governments Justice Center released an innovative web-based tool to help states and local officials improve their prisoner and inmate reentry efforts. This tool, which was developed with support from BJA, will help state and local government officials access different assessment instruments used in corrections systems across the nation to gauge the risks and needs of someone admitted to prison or jail.
According to the Justice Center, such information is typically collected through a series of screenings, assessments and evaluations conducted before sentencing and immediately after admittance to a correctional institution. This information can be updated periodically throughout the person's incarceration and during any community supervision. The information can be used to make decisions about how to manage risk, deliver treatment and other services and allocate resources.
The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey L. Sedgwick, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.