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Second Chance Mentoring Project

Award Information

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

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.

Career Opportunity Development, Inc. (CODI) will use the FY 2009 Second Chance Act Mentoring Grants to Nonprofit Organizations grant funds to operate a transitional mentoring program. The grantee will collaborate with a number of community partners and supporters to reduce the recidivism rates by helping targeted prisoners become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. The mentoring program will provide services to individuals 18 years and older convicted as an adult and imprisoned in a county or state facility. Inmates will enter the program with a referral from the Atlantic County Justice Facility and staff will begin pre-release activities. An assessment/vocational profile will be completed for each participant. Information will include: generic intake information, available family supports, transportation needs, history and school performance, educational services needed, employment history, vocational interests, work preferences, physical/health information, behavioral challenges, disabilities and hobbies. Based on this assessment, an Individual Service Plan (ISP) will be developed. The ISP will be used to match pre-released offenders to a volunteer mentor. Mentors can than begin to form a relationship through letters, visits etc. before release. Upon release, one-on-one services and group mentoring activities will be held at our facility. CODI staff will offer assistance with job search, temporary housing, addiction recovery, and referrals to other service providers for services needed.


Date Created: September 28, 2009