Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $749,381)
The 22nd and newly formed 32nd Judicial Districts located in Southern Middle Tennessee cover 7 counties, 3 of which are determined to be opportunity zones in economically distressed communities. The largest county in that district has enjoyed great success from its recidivism reduction programs for returning citizens. To replicate best practices to the remainder of county jails, South Central Tennessee Workforce Alliance (501C3 Non-profit) and the Maury, Wayne, Giles, Lewis, Perry, Hickman, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Departments (all local county government) have partnered to apply for the Second Chance Reentry Grant. The purpose of this endeavor would be to lower the recidivism rate in both judicial districts as well as to limit violations of parole and probations and increase public safety.
The Static Risk Offender Needs Guide-Revised (STRONG-R), an empirically validated risk assessment that is interfaced with the Tennessee Department of Corrections management system, will be used to identify those inmates who fall within the medium to high risk category. This instrument takes into consideration both mental health issues as well as static and dynamic factors. Medium to High-risk individuals will be the target population for reentry services. Individuals who are determined to be high risk by the STRONG-R assessment and who have a history of serious violence will be targeted for programs which reduce violent behaviors in addition to basic programming.
Areas of focus for programs in this proposal will be evidence based and employ CBT and mindfulness techniques when appropriate. The areas of focus include mental health, education both high school and post-secondary, recovery, parenting, conflict resolution, leadership, resilience building and employment/financial management. Measurable outcomes will include high school equivalency diplomas, completion certificates for evidence-based programs, employment and a reduction in recidivism and violations of parole and probations. Improvements in public safety will also be measured when possible.
This grant proposal meets priority considerations established in the grant solicitation that address opportunities for marginal populations and random assignments for research purposes.
Staff are highly trained with a wide range of expertise ranging from employment services, case management, Adult Education, post-secondary instruction to mental health professionals. Corrections specific training will be ongoing.