Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $299,907)
The Second Chance Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110-199) provides a comprehensive response to the increasing number of people who are released from prison and jail and returning to communities. There are currently over 2.3 million individuals serving time in federal and state prisons, and millions of people cycling through local jails every year. Ninety-five percent of all prisoners incarcerated today will eventually be released and will return to communities. The Second Chance Act will help ensure the transition individuals make from prison or jail to the community is safe and successful. Section 211 of the Act authorizes grants to nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Indian tribes that may be used for mentoring projects to promote the safe and successful reintegration into the community of individuals who have been incarcerated.
The Second Chance Act grant programs are designed to strengthen jurisdictions characterized by large numbers of returning offenders. 'Reentry' is not envisioned to be a specific program but rather an evidence-based process that begins with initial incarceration and ends with successful community reintegration, indicated by lack of recidivism. Per the Second Chance Act, funded mentoring projects should use validated and dynamic assessment tools to determine the risks and needs of offenders included in the project's target population. Program components must include mentoring adult offenders during incarceration, through transition back to the community, and post-release; transitional services to assist in the reintegration of offenders into the community; and training regarding offender and victims issues.
Applicant agencies/organizations are expected to demonstrate their capability to deliver or broker the provision of transitional services proposed to be offered in conjunction with the core mentoring component. Examples of 'transitional services' designed to increase success in reentry and thus reduce recidivism might include the establishment of a pre-release mentoring relationship, housing, education, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, services to enhance family reunification, job training and readiness, and post-release case management.
The Church United for Community Development will use the FY 2009 Second Chance Act Mentoring Grants to Nonprofit Organizations funds for the Communities Committed to Reentry (CCR) Coalition. The CCR will address reentry in the Baton Rouge area by using community and faith-based approach to coordinate prerelease mentoring, transitional services, and post-release mentoring. The program will serve state and local offenders reentering into the Baton Rouge area. The target population for those in state custody housed in the three state institutions in the Baton Rouge area includes violent and non-violent offenders exiting into Baton Rouge, at moderate to high risk rate of re-offending and who are enrolled in at least one reentry program. The second target population includes those offenders exiting into Baton Rouge who are in state or local custody at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison who have been incarcerated for at least one month, who are second or third time offenders and enrolled in at least one reentry program. These populations were identified as most in need and at risk by the Warden and other prison personnel at the institutions.