Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,000,000)
The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center is applying to the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to serve as the Second Chance Act (SCA) Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) provider for Category 4: Employment and Education. With our expert partners—the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) and Alliance for Higher Education in Prison (AHEP)—the CSG Justice Center will position SCA Category 4 grantees and the broader reentry field to meet the educational and employment needs of currently and formerly incarcerated people. Our goals will be to promote evidence-based education and training in correctional facilities and in the community and to increase employment skills and opportunities for people preparing for release from prisons and jails.
Leveraging our experience operating the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC), serving as the TTA provider to SCA education and employment grantees, and more broadly serving as a TTA provider to over 1,650 SCA and other federal grantees, the CSG Justice Center will offer a robust set of TTA activities that include individualized attention from subject matter experts (SMEs), peer learning opportunities, grantee progress monitoring, and practical resources to guide grantees through their projects. We will tailor our TTA to the specific Category 4 grant tracks and to different types of agencies and programs within a given track. Our individualized approach will include tailoring questions in the Planning and Implementation (P&I) Guides; hosting webinars for specific grant tracks and on cross-cutting topics; and facilitating discussions to strengthen connections and partnerships across agencies and systems.
Our TTA approach will be guided by the core Reentry 2030 strategies (i.e., scaling what works, strengthening cross-systems collaboration, setting public goals for reentry success and racial equity, improving data, and addressing barriers), and will center the voices of people with lived experience. Further, we will employ several strategies to help advance the field. These strategies will include collecting data and producing briefs; curating existing resources; attending conferences to share findings; hosting learning forums on essential topics in workforce development, education, and Second Chance Pell; and providing ad hoc TTA to non-grantees.