Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $300,000)
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 OAR of Fairfax County, Inc., will use the Fiscal Year 2009 Second Chance Act Mentoring Grants to Nonprofit Organizations funds for the Pre- and Post-Release Mentoring and Transitional Services Program.
The funds will be used to assist men and women, 18 years or older, who are housed in the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center (ADC),. The goal of the program will be to assist these offenders to reenter to the society. More specifically, the program participants will be assigned mentors and provided program comprehensive transitional services. The program will focus the mentoring resources on those inmates who are most likely returning to the immediate community. These participants will be directly engaged with program staff and have a relationship with agency volunteers. OAR will offer a continuum of services to assist participants and their families: 1) Acquire skills and support for self-sufficiency; (2) maintain healthy, stable, and independent lives; and, (3) become productive contributing community members. The OAR approach will involve helping clients think/feel differently and developing work/relationship skills with special emphasis on personal responsibility. Overall goal will be a reduction of recidivism rates.