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U.S. Department of Justice: Second Chance Act Comprehensive Community-Based Adult Reentry Program Utilizing Mentors

Deadline: April 12, 2016

The Second Chance Act grant funding is designed to help communities develop and implement comprehensive and collaborative strategies that address the challenges posed by reentry and recidivism reduction. “Reentry” is not a specific program, but rather a process that starts when an individual is initially incarcerated and ends when he or she has been successfully reintegrated in the community as a law-abiding citizen. The Act authorizes grants to nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Indian tribes that may be used for comprehensive wraparound services/programs which incorporate the use of trained mentors to promote the safe and successful reintegration into the community of adults who have been incarcerated. It is expected that program participants will be screened, assessed, and identified for program participation pre-release, and ideally, mentoring relationships will begin pre-release. During the post-release phase of the reentry program, participants will receive case management, connection to evidence-based programming designed to ensure that the transition from prison or jail to the community is safe and successful, and the benefit of a mentor. In instances where geographic distance or other obstacles preclude in-person visits between mentors and mentees pre-release, other mechanisms, such as voice and video calling, may be utilized when allowed and appropriate to begin mentoring relationships.

A core component of programs supported under this solicitation is the utilization of trained mentors who are assigned to program participants. The assigned mentors then support the individuals’ preparations for release and help to link them to programs and services in the community that address their identified needs. In addition, mentors provide emotional support and encouragement to individuals returning from incarceration, hold them accountable throughout the treatment process, and play active roles in promoting positive behavioral changes.

Applicants must demonstrate a cost-effective program strategy which provides mentoring and other services to a minimum of 150 individuals returning from incarceration during a 3-year project period. Individuals in the target population must be at medium to high risk of re-offending. Priority consideration will be given to applicants who provide for an independent evaluation of the project that includes, to the maximum extent feasible, random assignment of individuals to program delivery and control groups.

Amount: Up to seven awards of up to $1,000,000 each.

Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations) with a documented history of providing comprehensive, evidence-based reentry services, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments.

Link: https://www.bja.gov/funding/SCAmentoring16.pdf

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