JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES GRANTS UNDER SECOND CHANCE ACT PRISONER REENTRY INITIATIVENational Adult and Juvenile Reentry Resource Center Created
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Justice today announced more than $28 million in grant funding to states, local governments and non-profit organizations under the Second Chance Act Prisoner Reentry Initiative. Funding, awarded through five separate grant programs, will be used to support reentry programs that assist individuals' transition from prison back into the community through a variety of services such as mentoring, literacy classes, job training, education programs, substance abuse, rehabilitation and mental health programs for adult and juvenile offenders.
"This is another step toward the goal of reducing the nationwide recidivism rate and decreasing the billions of dollars spent annually on incarceration," said Mary Lou Leary, Acting Assistant Attorney General for OJP. "The Second Chance Act grants are designed to help strengthen communities characterized by large numbers of returning offenders, providing an evidence-based process that begins with initial incarceration and ends with successful community reintegration."
According to OJP's Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are currently over 1.5 million individuals serving time in federal and state prisons and another 786,000 incarcerated in local jails. About 725,000 are released from prison and millions of people cycle through local jails every year. Ninety-five percent of all prisoners incarcerated today will eventually be released and will return to communities. Second Chance Act grantees will provide transitional services such as creating pre-release mentoring relationships, housing, education, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, services to enhance family reunification, job training and readiness, and post-release case management.
OJP also announced the creation of a National Adult and Juvenile Offender Reentry Resource Center with a national partner, the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center Through the Reentry Resource Center, OJP, the CSG Justice Center and many other national organizations will provide valuable training and technical assistance to states, localities and tribes to develop evidenced-based reentry programs, which will help reduce the recidivism rate, while still protecting the communities being served.
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2009, the OJP's Bureau of Justice Assistance and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention solicited applications under five grant programs: Second Chance Act Mentoring Grants to Nonprofit Organizations; Second Chance Act Prisoner Reentry Initiative Demonstration Grants; Second Chance Act National Adult and Juvenile Offender Reentry Resource Center; Second Chance Act Youth Offender Reentry Initiative; and Second Chance Juvenile Mentoring Initiative. In FY 2010, the Administration requested $100 million for the new Second Chance Act Prisoner Reentry Initiative, an increase of $75 million over the FY 2009 Omnibus funding level. For a list of grant recipients, visit http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/funding/09grantawards.htm.
The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary, 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.BJA10-0001