U.S. Department of Justice: Smart Reentry – Focus on Evidence-based Strategies for Successful Reentry from Incarceration to Community
The goal of this program is to support jurisdictions to develop and implement comprehensive and collaborative strategies that address the challenges posed by reentry to increase public safety and reduce recidivism for individuals reentering communities from incarceration who are at medium to high risk for recidivating. Within the context of this initiative, “reentry” is not envisioned to be a specific program, but rather a process that begins when the individual is first incarcerated (pre-release) and ends with his or her successful community reintegration and reduction in risk of recidivism (post-release).
This process should provide the individual with appropriate evidence-based services—including reentry planning that addresses individual criminogenic needs identified through information obtained from an empirically validated risk/needs assessment that also reflects the risk of recidivism for each individual. The reentry plan should reflect both specific and ongoing pre-release and post-release needs, and a strategy for ensuring that these needs are met throughout the duration of the reentry process. Successful applicants under this solicitation will be required to work with a team that includes an action researcher to complete a planning phase for their projects and, after Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) approval, will be authorized to begin the implementation phase of the project.
During the planning phase, funds may be used to:
- Support a Reentry Task Force composed of relevant state, tribal, territorial, or local leaders and representatives of relevant agencies, service providers, nonprofit organizations, and other key stakeholders
- Continue development of a reentry strategic plan that describes the long-term strategy, including measurable annual and 5-year performance outcomes, relating to the long-term goals of increasing public safety and reducing recidivism
- Evaluate a jurisdiction’s approach to contracting for services and assess whether or not contracts are achieving the most impact in their jurisdiction
During the implementation phase, funds may be used to:
- Target criminogenic needs that affect recidivism
- Provide sustained case planning/management in the community
- Support a comprehensive range of services for the formerly incarcerated
- Provide staff training, coaching, and performance evaluations on new evidence-based practices adopted
- Provide resources for civil legal aid
- Provide access to health benefits
- Develop or use an existing data system
- Transitional employment
- Improve contracted service provision and accountability
Amount: Up to 5 awards of up to $1,000,000 each, including up to $150,000 for the planning phase and $850,000 for a 24-month implementation period.
Eligibility: State and local government agencies and federally recognized Indian tribal governments. Applicants must be able to track unique identifiers for participants, gain access to recidivism data, and report recidivism data, particularly returns to incarceration during the period 1 year after release.
The target population for the initiative must be a specific subset of medium- to high-risk individuals as identified using a validated assessment tool, and convicted as an adult and incarcerated in a state, local, or tribal prison or jail. These individuals may include sex offenders, mentally ill individuals, or individuals dually diagnosed with major mental health disorders and alcohol or substance addictions, for participation in the funded program. Programs that target high-risk individuals who are experiencing or who are at risk of experiencing chronic homelessness will also be given strong consideration. This would include people who have been in jail or prison for 90 or fewer days, who were living on the streets or in an emergency shelter prior to entry, and who have a long history of cycling between short-term stays in jail and homelessness.
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