Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $900,000)
The SoulFisher Ministries (TSM), a 501c3 organization in St. Louis, Missouri, is requesting funds for its Adult General Academic Program of Education (AGAPE) Successful Second Chances Initiative through the Improving Reentry Education and Employment Outcomes Program. The goals of the AGAPE Successful Second Chances Initiative are to: 1) Expand the number of workforce development services available for AGAPE program participants; 2) Increase utilization of education and workforce development services of among participants prior to AGAPE program completion 12 months after release from prison; and 3) Increase the stability of participants prior to AGAPE program completion 12 months after release from prison.
The target population includes women and men being released to St. Louis from Women’s Eastern Reception and Diagnostic Correctional Center (WERDCC), Chillicothe Correctional Center (CCC), and Northeastern Correctional Center (NECC) all Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) institutions. The program will serve at a minimum 75 women and men in the St. Louis area following them for one year.
Pre-release services will be based on the institution and will include intake, assessment, and eligibility determination, six months of case management, and skill-based/knowledge-based classes (financial literacy, career readiness, life skills, etc.). Upon release, participants will continue building career readiness skills and life skills and have access to wrap-around services that include case management and transitional housing or permanent supportive housing.
Training for staff will address appropriate use of risk needs assessment, cognitive-behavioral interventions, strategies on the utilization of evidence-based programs and practices, the criminal justice system, and restorative justice practices.
TSM will adopt all program-specific priority areas for this solicitation and OJP policy priority areas by benefitting individuals who reside in high-poverty area and offering enhancements to public safety in economically distressed communities (Qualified Opportunity Zones).
The Brown School Evaluation Center (Center) at Washington University in St. Louis will serve as the external evaluator. The Center will collaborate with TSM to develop the evaluation plan for the non-experimental evaluation design. TSM will collect individual level data from the target population and share de-identified data with the Center for analysis and reporting. TSM and the Center will review the results on a regular basis to inform quality improvement and progress on achieving program goals. Deliverables will include: evaluation plan, data collection tools and protocols, dissemination and sustainability plans, and quarterly and annual reports.