U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Pre-release and Post-release Mentoring Services

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $299,935)

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 Alston Wilkes Society (AWS) will use the FY 2009 Second Chance Act Mentoring Grants to Nonprofit Organizations funds to continue to operate existing re-entry programs for state offenders. AWS will continue to provide intensive case management, direct client assistance and referrals for services to assist in a successful re-entry into the community. AWS will continue to integrate a formalized mentoring as a core component. The organization will recruit the highest quality volunteer mentors possible. Volunteer support will be a priority, beginning with comprehensive training and program orientation in order to maximize volunteer retention. This program will target male offenders, 18 years and older, with 3 ' 6 months left on their sentences whose release plans include living in the Columbia MSA (Metropolitan Service Area) (Richland County) or Greenville MSA (Greenville and Spartanburg Counties) of South Carolina. Program participants will receive services to include needs assessments, individual/personal program plans, employment and housing counseling, and assistance with emergency needs. The program will integrate a more formalized mentoring program, utilizing volunteers, to provide more intensive pre-release services. The funds will enable AWS to continue to serve offenders in state prisons prior to release with one-on-one mentoring and group educational/release planning sessions. Upon release, offender participants will automatically become a client of AWS' Community Services Program in Columbia or Greenville where they will receive transitional services.


Date Created: September 15, 2009