Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $750,000)
Tampa Bay Academy of Hope will work with the Florida Department of Corrections in developing and implementing the No Offender Without a Second Chance (NOW) program to
assist returning citizens transitioning back into the community by transitional pre- and post-release services to increase collaboration between community and faith based organizations and corrections, community supervision, law enforcement, and other local reentry stakeholders . The NOW program is designed to help develop comprehensive case management plans that directly address criminogenic risks and needs and includes delivery or facilitation of services in a manner consistent with participants' learning styles.
Tampa Bay Academy of Hope will provide services to 150 male and female returning citizens at least 18 years of age, residing in one of the identified state correctional facilities, concentrating on the 6 months to 180-months period prior to release and returning to a high poverty area. TBAH with the help of Career Source identified demand employment sectors in the community and created vocational training strategies for returning citizens to improve workforce outcomes.
In addition to vocational skills training, participants will receive pre-release service consisting of job preparation, development of individual service plans (ISPs) including identifying barriers to employment, career exploration and planning, counseling, and assistance with linking inmates to the social services required to help them transition back to their communities. Upon release returning citizens will receive continued post-release services consisting of skill-building services, including apprenticeships and occupational training in in-demand industries that lead to industry-recognized credentials. In addition, TBAH will include additional wraparound services provided community partners to include housing, substance abuse services, mental health services, and other transitional needed services.
TBAH employer connections will inform specific program curricula and ensure relevance to the needs of local businesses and jobs. By teaching returning citizens foundational skills, such as job readiness, employability, and job search strategies, in addition to providing apprenticeships and occupational training leading to industry-recognized credentials, TBAH
will provide access to employment and reduce the likelihood of reoffending. TBAH in partnership with the Florida Department of Corrections will 1) implement and/or expand
educational, vocational, and employment programs that will result in improved educational and employment outcomes, as measured by certifications and other credentials, diplomas, and jobs; and 2) emphasize increased collaborations and strong partnerships between educational and workforce service providers and corrections, parole, probation, and other reentry service providers, in order to enhance employment prospects for incarcerated adults reentering the workforce. Ideally the recidivism rate for the program will be no higher than 20%.