June 07, 2013

National Reentry Resource Center Newsletter, April 25, 2013

National Reentry Resource Center Newsletter, April 25, 2013

The Second Chance Act: The First Five Years

This month marks the five-year anniversary of the Second Chance Act, the landmark legislation authorizing federal grants to support programs aimed at improving outcomes for people leaving prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities and reducing recidivism. The bill also funds research and evaluation projects and created the National Reentry Resource Center, a clearinghouse of information relating to prisoner reentry. Through its broad scope and innovative approach, the bill has had a significant impact on all stakeholders: individuals and families in need of services; communities and governments seeking strategies to increase public safety and reduce costs; researchers looking to inform, advance, and disseminate their work; and practitioners interested in enhancing their programs and sharing best practices with others in the field.
The grant program currently funds eight different types of projects: demonstration projects involving the planning and/or implementation of a reentry initiative for adults or juveniles, mentoring services for adults or juveniles, family-based substance abuse treatment for incarcerated parents, reentry courts, programs targeting individuals with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders, funding for state departments of corrections to achieve recidivism reductions through planning and capacity-building, evidence-based strategies in probation supervision, and programs providing training in technology careers. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) manages the juvenile demonstration and juvenile mentoring projects, while the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) of the U.S. Department of Justice manages all the other projects.
To date, BJA and OJJDP have awarded nearly 500 Second Chance Act grants to state, local, and tribal government agencies and nonprofit organizations across 48 states and the District of Columbia, totaling nearly $250 million. Representing a wide range in geography, size, and program design, the grantee programs display the different ways that reentry strategies can be applied in jurisdictions.

To continue reading, click here.

Council of State Governments Justice Center
Releases Three Publications


Lessons from the States: Reducing Recidivism and Curbing Corrections Costs Through Justice Reinvestment

Over the past 20 years, state spending on corrections has skyrocketed, from $12 billion in 1988 to more than $52 billion in 2011. In 2007, Texas implemented justice reinvestment policies resulting in $3.2 billion in savings over the past five years. Since then, dozens of states and local jurisdictions have designed and implemented similar justice reinvestment strategies, many with the help of the CSG Justice Center and in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance and The Pew Charitable Trusts. This report presents lessons and strategies from states related to justice reinvestment. To download the report, click here.

Lessons Learned: Planning and Assessing a Law Enforcement Reentry Strategy

This report, created with support from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), highlights how four law enforcement agencies engaged in local-level reentry partnerships in order to reduce crime and increase public safety in their jurisdictions. These four "learning sites" featured in the report applied strategies outlined in the Planning and Assessing a Law Enforcement Reentry Strategy toolkit released by the CSG Justice Center and the COPS office in 2008, which focuses on ten key elements of creating a local reentry initiative.
In addition to the release of the Lessons Learned publication, an interactive assessment tool was launched that is a companion to the original Planning and Assessing a Law Enforcement Reentry Strategy toolkit. This online tool allows local sites to assess and plan improvements to their current reentry practices. Housed on the CSG Justice Center website, this tool is accessible to law enforcement, corrections staff, community corrections professionals, and faith- and community-based services providers who are interested in assessing their current reentry projects and building on law enforcement and community partnerships focused on reentry strategies. To download the report, click here

The Implications of the Affordable Care Act on People Involved with the Criminal Justice System

Individuals involved with the criminal justice system face high rates of communicable and chronic diseases, mental illness, and substance use disorders. However, criminal justice practitioners often have difficulty connecting this largely low-income and uninsured population to the health services they need. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law in March 2010, offers new opportunities for these individuals to obtain health care services previously unavailable to them. Produced by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, this brief provides an overview of the implications of the ACA for adults involved with the criminal justice system, as well as information about how professionals in the criminal justice field can help this population access health care services. To download the report, click here.

School Discipline Consensus Project:
Update and New Resources

The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) recently convened the second round of multidisciplinary advisory groups for its School Discipline Consensus Project. Nearly 100 experts from such fields as school safety, behavioral health, education, juvenile justice, law enforcement, and child welfare have come together with youth, parents, and community partners to begin developing consensus-based recommendations to minimize the use of suspension and expulsion, improve students' academic outcomes, reduce their involvement in the juvenile justice system, and promote safe and productive learning environments. Among the many issues being addressed is facilitating the reentry of youth from juvenile facilities back into public school classrooms and providing them with supports to prevent their recidivism.

The project is administered in coordination with the Supportive School Discipline Initiative launched by the U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Secretary of Education in July 2011 and is supported by a public/private partnership that includes the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, NoVo Foundation, The California Endowment, and The Atlantic Philanthropies.

New Resources

As part of this project, the CSG Justice Center will be periodically advising policymakers and practitioners about the availability of new reports and resources with national reach and will be developing a new website with additional information as the project progresses. If you would like to be informed of future announcements related to school discipline or juvenile issues, you can click here and check the box marked "youth." (Be sure to complete the fields with an asterisk that indicate a required field.)
Two products were released April 8, 2013, by the Civil Rights Project's Center for Civil Rights Remedies that may be of interest to you:

Out of School & Off Track: The Overuse of Suspensions in American Middle and High Schools, by Daniel J. Losen (an advisory group member for the School Discipline Consensus Project) and Tia Elena Martinez, examines data from more than 26,000 U.S. secondary schools and concludes that more than two million students were suspended during the 2009-2010 academic year, with the overwhelming majority for minor violations of schools' rules. The report looks at 20 localities and reveals "hot spot" districts where 25 percent or more of the students are suspended and provides recommendations for reducing exclusionary discipline practices in all school districts to improve outcomes for youth. It also examines the disparate impact of disciplinary actions on students of color and youth with disabilities. Many of the findings align with the conclusions reached in the CSG Justice Center's own Texas school discipline research report, Breaking Schools' Rules. To download the report, click here.

Closing the School Discipline Gap: Research to Policy provides a summary of 16 recent research papers on the scope of school disciplinary practices—particularly suspensions and expulsions—and their impact on students' academic performance, delinquency, and other outcomes. The research also points to positive school-based alternatives to suspension and expulsion. To download the report, click here.

For more information on the CSG Justice Center's School Discipline Consensus Project, go to http://justicecenter.csg.org/resources/juveniles.

"Mistakes Kids Make" Interactive Campaign Launched

The Mistakes Kids Make campaign is a storytelling project funded through the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that seeks to reform policies that punish youth for minor offenses and instead hold youth accountable through supportive measures that teach youth responsibility and improve their chances for a productive life. The campaign's website features a short video about how one-size-fits-all policies may prevent kids from getting past their mistakes, as well as short stories from celebrities and athletes who have overcome mistakes they made. The campaign asks supporters to pledge to stand up for decisions made in their community that hold kids accountable while providing the support they need to improve their lives. For more about Mistakes Kids Make, click here.

Funding Opportunities

Call for Applicants to the Second Chance Act
 "Smart Probation" Initiatives Program

On March 12, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance released the solicitation for the Second Chance Act's grant program for probation initiatives, entitled "Smart Probation: Reducing Prison Populations, Saving Money, and Creating Safer Communities." The "Smart Probation" program assists state, local, and tribal agencies in developing and implementing strategies to improve probation supervision and reduce recidivism. Funds may be used to implement evidence-based supervision strategies and to innovate new strategies to improve outcomes for probationers. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on May 9, 2013. To download the solicitation, click here.

In 2012, the National Reentry Resource Center hosted a webinar for applicants responding to the "Smart Probation" solicitation. The 2012 webinar and presentation provide information that is also relevant to the 2013 solicitation. To watch the 2012, webinar click here. To download the presentation, click here. Please note: a new webinar specific to the 2013 solicitation will NOT be offered.

Call for Applicants to the Second Chance Act Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders Grant Program

On March 27, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance released the Adult Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders Second Chance Act grant solicitation. State, local, and tribal governments are invited to apply for this funding to improve recovery and recidivism outcomes for adults with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders by providing appropriate evidence-based services and treatment both during and after incarceration.

To download this solicitation, click here. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on May 16, 2013.

In 2011, the National Reentry Resource Center hosted a webinar for applicants responding to the "Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders" solicitation. The 2011 webinar and presentation provide information that is also relevant to the 2013 solicitation. To watch the 2011 webinar, click here. To download the presentation, click here. Please note: a new webinar specific to the 2013 solicitation will NOT be offered.

Department of Labor Announces Funding Opportunity
for Nonprofit Organizations Working
with the Reentry Population

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration recently announced the availability of funds to help individuals prior to or immediately following release from incarceration prepare to reenter the workforce. Funding from this competitive grant can be used for job placement, vocational skills training, basic skills instruction and remedial education, tutoring for state high school equivalency tests, and other services aimed at helping participants secure employment.

The deadline for applying is 4:00 p.m. ET, May 2, 2013. Nonprofit organizations interested in applying can download the solicitation here.

Call for Grant Applicants to Develop Job Skills for
Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced the availability of approximately $26 million in grants to improve the long-term employment prospects of youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The "Face Forward" grants are designed to give youth a chance at success by offering support services, training, and skills development that can help them obtain employment and overcome the stigma of a juvenile record. Nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, and Indian and Native American entities eligible for grants under WIA Section 166 may apply for these grants.

To download an application, click here. The deadline for applying is 4:00 p.m. ET, May 10, 2013.

"Comprehensive Support Services for Families Affected by Substance Abuse and/or HIV/AIDS" Grant Competition

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' Administration for Children and Families recently announced the availability of competitive grants authorized by the Abandoned Infants Assistance Act. State and local governments, public and private institutions of higher education, Native American tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for funding that can be used to support activities and services designed to increase the well being, improve permanency, and enhance the safety of infants and children who have been exposed to a dangerous drug or have been exposed to HIV/AIDS and/or are at risk of being placed in out-of-home care as a result of one or both parents' substance abuse or positive HIV status. 

Applications are due by May 13, 2013. To download an application, click here.  

Reentry Success Story: Mentors Support Man in Avoiding Crime and Achieving Financial and Educational Goals

The Council of State Governments Justice Center—which coordinates the National Reentry Resource Center—has been collecting stories about people whose lives have improved as a result of their involvement in a Second Chance Act-funded grant program. The Second Chance Act of 2008 established funding for programs seeking to reduce recidivism and assist people in their transition back into the community from incarceration. If you would like to provide a story about a successful client in your Second Chance Act-funded program, please contact Stephanie Joson at sjoson@csg.org. All names and other individually identifying details have been changed to preserve confidentiality.

Grant Program: Second Chance Act
Grant Type: Adult Mentoring
State: Virginia
Grantee: Offender Aid and Restoration of Richmond, Inc.
Program Name: Richmond Regional Reentry Program Second Chance Coaching Project

Much of 41-year-old Hank's involvement with the criminal justice system can be traced back to his family background. With two brothers in and out of incarceration and a mother who abused drugs, Hank always felt an obligation to support his family. For a time he worked in food and janitorial services, but feeling pressed for money, he began stealing cars. The police caught him on several occasions, and he served three separate prison terms totaling six years.
During his most recent prison term, Hank participated in the Richmond Regional Reentry Program's Second Chance Coaching Project (SCCP), through which he was connected to two mentors, a retired couple. From the start, he worked with his mentors and SCCP staff to improve his circumstances and prepare for potential employment.

Before his arrest, Hank lived with his family. While in prison, however, he realized that family-related stress was a main trigger of his criminal activity. With the help of the SCCP mentors and case manager, he thought through all of his potential living options and eventually decided to live with a friend for the first three or four months after release. The project's case manager then recommended him for housing subsidies, which allowed him to rent his first apartment and focus on a successful transition.

To continue reading this success story, click here.

Register Now for Upcoming Webinars 

Creating a Strong Foundation for Effective Connections to Community Substance Abuse Treatment

Hosted by the National Reentry Resource Center

The National Reentry Resource Center, in partnership with Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities and the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network, is happy to announce a new webinar series: Best Practices for Engaging and Retaining Formerly Incarcerated Individuals in Community Substance Abuse Treatment. One of the most common challenges professionals in the reentry field face is post-incarceration client engagement and retention in community treatment services. Research suggests that people who are engaged in community treatment following incarceration will experience better recovery outcomes and reduced recidivism rates. The five-part webinar series focuses on best practices for engaging and retaining clients in community substance abuse treatment, including effective transition planning and case management and effective strategies to create stronger partnerships between community treatment providers and probation and parole services. 
Part I: Creating a Strong Foundation for Effective Connections from Incarceration to Community-Based Substance Abuse Treatment
This webinar will discuss how jurisdictions can better link individuals with substance use disorders involved with the criminal justice system to community-based treatment through a comprehensive reentry process. The webinar will also address the important role that the family can play in a recovering individual's transition from incarceration to the community.
Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Time: 2:00-3:30 p.m. ET
To register for this webinar, click here.
Janelle Prueter, Director of Corrections and Community Reentry Programs, Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities
Alexa Eggleston, Substance Abuse Program Director, Council of State Governments Justice Center
For questions, please contact Kati Guerra kguerra@csg.org.


Family Comes First: Transforming the Justice System by Partnering with Families

Hosted by the National Center for Youth in Custody 

In recent years, family engagement has come to the forefront of juvenile justice system reform. While much progress has been made, juvenile justice professionals and stakeholders still face challenges building meaningful partnerships with families. During this webinar, presenters will review a new Campaign for Youth Justice report on a nationwide study of best practices in family-system partnerships, showcase examples from jurisdictions where the juvenile justice system has successfully involved families, explain five features of a transformed juvenile justice system, and introduce the FAMILY Model which jurisdictions can use to assess their systems from a family perspective.
Date: Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Time: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. ET

  • Neelum Arya, Assistant Professor of Law, Barry University School of Law
  • Wendy Luckenbill, Recovery and Resiliency Specialist for Children, Youth, and Their Families, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization
  • Shaena Fazal, National Policy Director, Youth Advocate Programs, Inc.
  • Liane Rozzell, Founder and Executive Director, Families & Allies of Virginia's Youth
To register for this webinar, click here.

Travis County to Host Vision Summit: Looking Toward the Future of Reentry in Austin, Texas

The Travis County Sheriff's Office (TCSO) is honored to host the inaugural Vision Summit: Looking Toward the Future of Reentry in Austin, Texas on September 10-13, 2013. 
Through enhanced communication, coordination, and collaboration among stakeholders, communities can be made safer, recidivism can be reduced, reentry outcomes can be improved, and individuals returning from jail and prison can be better served.  At this event TCSO will host approximately 300 attendees from across the country, feature presenters who are leaders in the field of reentry and offer attendees new approaches to strengthen reentry efforts and improve outcomes in their respective communities. TCSO is currently accepting proposals for workshop presenters and speakers. For more information and conference registration, please click here.

Publications & Resources

Halfway from Prison to the Community: From Current Practice to Best Practice
This report by the Center for Behavioral Health Services & Criminal Justice Research at Rutgers sets forth best practice guidelines for stakeholders working with halfway houses. The report recommends 11 best practices that advocates, policymakers, and corrections practitioners from New Jersey developed during three roundtable discussions held at Rutgers between August and November 2012. To download the report, click here.
The Outskirts of Hope: How Ohio's Debtors' Prisons are Ruining Lives and Costing Communities
The U.S. Constitution, the Ohio Constitution, and Ohio Revised Code all prohibit debtors' prisons. The law requires that, before jailing anyone for unpaid fines, courts must determine whether an individual is too poor to pay. This report, published by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, documents how debtors prisons, though illegal, are functioning in Ohio. To download this report, click here.

Evidence-Based Practices in the Criminal Justice System: An Annotated Bibliography
Evidence-based policy and practices focused on reducing offender risk reduce new crime and improve public safety. Of the many available approaches to corrections, a few core principles stand out as proven risk-reduction strategies. This annotated bibliography, published by the U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Corrections, includes research related to the eight principles of evidence-based correctional practice (Clawson & Guevara, 2010), as well as other issues and populations, such as juveniles, women, and sex offenders. To download this bibliography, click here.

Integrating Tribal Cultural Practices into Tribal Juvenile Detention Centers and Reentry Plans

Traditional cultural ceremonies and practices are integral parts of life for Native American youth, families, and communities across the country. Cultural ceremonies and practices, including sweat lodges, talking circles, and storytelling, can assist detained and reentering youth in reconnecting with their tribal communities. This report from the Tribal Juvenile Detention Reentry Training and Technical Assistance Center provides an overview of how detention centers can integrate cultural practices into their facilities and reentry plans for tribal youth. To download this report, click here.

Reentry in the News

Articles from newspapers around the country covering issues related to reentry can be found on the National Reentry Resource Center website. Some recent articles with excerpts, are posted below. 

Rapid intervention working in Vermont
4/11/13 The Burlington Free Press—People suspected of nonviolent crimes who complete treatment prescribed by Chittenden County's Rapid Intervention Community Court are less likely to reoffend than those who drop out of the pilot program, according to a report conducted by the Vermont Center for Justice Research.

Colorado Senate panel backs reinstating eligibility for rehab program
4/8/13 The Denver Post—Young offenders could once again qualify for a special program that separates them from the general prison population under a bill passed unanimously out of a Senate committee Monday. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, reinstates provisions that expand the eligibility of offenders — who are either 18 or 19 years old at the time a crime is committed — to the Colorado Department of Corrections' youth-offender system. A 2009 law expanded program eligibility — which specializes in rehabilitation efforts centered on education — but an oversight by the Department of Corrections allowed the law to sunset last October.

Ex-felons are about to get health coverage
4/5/13 Stateline—Newly freed prisoners traditionally walk away from the penitentiary with a bus ticket and a few dollars in their pockets. Starting in January, many of the 650,000 inmates released from prison each year will be eligible for something else: health care by way of Medicaid, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Parolee reentry program gains momentum
4/1/13 Plumas County News—Plumas County's programs to help former jail inmates and parolees reenter the community are gaining momentum and their success affects local residents in a number of ways — from public costs to the crime rate. County officials charged with overseeing the process, the Community Corrections Partnership, learned about the successes of another small northern California county during their monthly meeting March 20.

Virginia officials consider reopening closed juvenile detention center
4/1/13 Juvenile Justice Information Exchange—Later this summer, officials in Richmond, Va., are considering reopening a juvenile detention center closed last year because of mismanagement, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
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This is a National Reentry Resource Center newsletter. This newsletter is funded in whole or in part through a grant award from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse this newsletter (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided). 
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