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OCARTA CARES Peer Mentoring Reentry Recovery Support Project

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $290,702)

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.

Oklahoma CART Association will use the FY 2009 Second Chance Act Mentoring Grants to Nonprofit Organizations funds for the Oklahoma Citizen Advocates for Recovery and Treatment Association (OCARTA) CARES Peer Mentoring Reentry Recovery Support Project. The grant funds will allow the program to deliver and evaluate peer mentoring reentry recovery support services. The goal will be to reduce relapse and recidivism and increase self sufficiency in a manner that is sustainable and responsive to the target community's needs and strengths. The target population will consist of women 18 years and older re-entering the community after incarceration, and at risk of relapse/recidivism due to unaddressed substance abuse/co-occurring needs. The primary groups and referral sources for the project may include: (1) Incarcerated women preparing for release from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections who are identified as residents of Oklahoma County with histories of substance abuse; (2) Women referred from Community Supervision in need of re-entry and recovery services; and (3) Women referred from other jurisdictions (e.g. city/county jails). All services will be provided by trained mentors, trained OCARTA staff, or professional staff in the community serving as an in-kind resource to the project, program participant's needs, strengths, and preference will guide project implementation. Mentors will work with participants and their families alongside re-integration specialists and parole officers to ensure that reintegration efforts are unambiguous and analogous.


Date Created: September 3, 2009