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Given the Chance Reentry Services

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $264,000)

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.

AIDS Council of Northeastern New York, Inc. will use the FY 2009 Second Chance Act Mentoring Grants to Nonprofit Organizations funds to implement The Given the Chance(GTC) program. This is a reentry project that will include three major elements. First, GTC and Re-entry Opportunities and Orientations Towards Success (ROOTS), a community-based re-entry mentoring program, will provide pre- and post-release mentorship services both individually and in small group settings utilizing a cognitive change curriculum formulated on evidence-based approaches. Second, GTC will operate as a resource and referral clearinghouse. The services will be made available during pre- and post-release. The grant funds will allow the program to provide information, referral and follow-up on an array of services, including primary care, substance abuse and mental health treatment, family support services, employment training, and GED preparation. This model will: (1) Offer a 'one stop shopping' approach; (2) facilitate connection to area providers who cannot all travel throughout the hub; and, (3) will marshal a coordinated effort to build regional reentry resources. Third, GTC will provide transitional planning prior to release and intensive follow-up during reintegration for at least one year. Transitional planning will involve the target population in identifying needs, setting goals, and developing individualized plans. Reentry specialists will facilitate access to services and offer ongoing support, mentorship, and case coordination.


Date Created: September 15, 2009