Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $900,000)
Pinebrook Family Answers is applying for funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance Second Chance Act Adult Reentry Education, Employment, Treatment and Recovery Program to continue the promising work of Leaving Jail: A Comprehensive, Regional Reentry Program for Women. The original Leaving Jail project awarded in 2017 and implemented in three county jails; Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties, is the only trauma-informed reentry program in the region. Leaving Jail is designed to support a reentry process for women that begins during their incarceration and ends when they have been successfully reintegrated back into the community. Leaving Jail has received phenomenal feedback from participants and community partners, as well as promising results in recidivism reduction from an evaluation completed by the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges. Current program staff along with the collaborating correctional facilities, and community partners have come together to strengthen the implementation of the current program and build off its strengths and successes for this proposal. This uniquely collaborative reentry service begins while women are incarcerated and continues for six months post-release, as women work towards independence, and successfully transition out of the criminal justice system. Leaving Jail seeks to improve the individual skills and decision-making of program participants, while working to reunite mothers with their children, reducing the burden on state and local resources. The program works collaboratively with county partners to facilitate successful supervision, reducing the burden on probation and parole staff, and increase referrals and client engagement across a wide array of reentry services. Per best practices, a validated Risk/Needs Assessment along with supplemental gender-responsive tools will be used to identify program participants at moderate to high risk of recidivating. Reentry Specialists will facilitate a comprehensive array of evidence-based programming including Seeking Safety, Moral Reconation Therapy, Staying Quit, and Parenting Inside Out. Participants receive comprehensive Reentry Case Management services to assist in making positive change and reach short- and long-term reentry goals including expanding pro-social support networks; engaging in mental health and addiction treatment; finding and maintaining employment; navigating supervision; and reuniting with their children. All while program staff work closely with independent assessors to vigorously evaluate the program’s outcomes. The proposed Leaving Jail project seeks to capitalize on its existing relationships and experience, using a blend of Criminal Justice and Social Service research and techniques to reduce recidivism; benefiting the participants, their families, corrections staff, community partners, and the community at large.