Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $450,000)
The Prisoner Reentry Initiative (PRI) is designed to provide funding to state units of government to develop and implement institutional and community corrections-based offender reentry programs. The PRI strengthens urban communities characterized by large numbers of returning, nonviolent prisoners. PRI is designed to reduce recidivism by helping returning inmates find work and assess other critical services in their communities. The PRI supports strategies to deliver pre-release assessments and services, and to develop transition plans in collaboration with other justice and community-based agencies and providers for supervised and non-supervised, nonviolent offenders.
The Iowa Department of Corrections will implement a project entitled Iowa Prisoner Reentry Initiative (IPRI): A Collaborative Effort to Help Non-Violent Offenders Safely and Successfully Reenter Iowa Polk County Community. The goal of the project is to improve community safety by providing pre-release and transition services to non-violent offenders leaving four state adult institutions. The project will provide services to 200 non-violent offenders who are being released to Polk County high-risk census tracts. The following characteristics will be used to select participants: 1) 10th grade education; 2) documented psychological and/or medical challenges; 3) substance abuse needs; 4) gang affiliations; 5) custodial or non-custodial parent; and 6) job placement and/or training needs. A reentry case plan, based on a needs assessment, will be developed for each participant prior to release to the community. A vocational assessment will also be completed and used in developing the participant's career plan. The project will be implemented in partnership with the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services, Des Moines Area Community College, The Directors Council (comprised of executive membership from Polk County service agencies); and the Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Agency. A process evaluation will be conducted to ensure that the project is implemented as planned and participants will be tracked to assess the recidivism rate.