Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $750,000)
The SoulFisher Ministries (TSM), a 501c3 organization in St. Louis, Missouri, is requesting funds for its Adult General Academic Program of Education (AGAPE) Reentry Program through the Second Chance Act Community-Based Reentry Program. The goals of the AGAPE Reentry Program are to:
Reduce recidivism among the female offender population by providing a holistic approach to reentry that prepares women to successfully transition from incarceration to the St. Louis community;
Expand TSM’s service provision to include a centralized focus on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) pre and post release;
Employ a certified CBT, Department of Mental Health, Outpatient Substance Use program for justice-involved women during post-release service delivery;
Increase the stability of participants prior to AGAPE program completion 12 months after release from prison.
The target population includes women who will be returning to St. Louis from Women’s Eastern Reception and Diagnostic Correctional Center, a female Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) institution, and women held at the St. Louis City Justice Center. The program will serve at a minimum 75 women in the St. Louis area following them for one year. Likewise, as describe on Page 3 and Page 8 in the Program Narrative, TSM is seeking priority consideration under Priority Consideration 1(A).
Pre-release services will include intake, assessment, and eligibility determination, six months to one year of case management, and skill-based/knowledge-based classes (financial literacy, job readiness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy groups, etc.). Upon release, clients will meet weekly with case managers, participate in services relevant to their goals and needs (i.e., employment, education, substance use, mental and cognitive services), participate in CBT-based support groups and will receive intensive wrap-around services that include case management and transitional housing or permanent supportive housing for 12 months.
Training for staff will address appropriate use of cognitive-behavioral interventions, strategies on the utilization of evidence-based programs and practices, the criminal justice system, data collection for an observational cohort evaluation, and restorative justice practices.
TSM will employ an observation cohort design to evaluate the program fidelity and impact on participants, comparing those who complete the full program (pre-release and 12 months of post-release) to those who do not complete full program. The current baseline recidivism rate for BJA-funded women who participated in the AGAPE program is 8 percent. The Brown School Evaluation Center (EC) at Washington University in St. Louis will serve as the external evaluator.