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Family Life Center Second Chance Mentoring Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $275,921)

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 Rhode Island Family Life Center (FLC), will use the Fiscal Year 2009 Second Chance Act Mentoring Grants to Nonprofit Organizations funds for the Family Life Center Second Chance Mentoring Program. The FLC, founded with the support of the RI Department of Corrections (DOC) in 2002, has worked closely with the Department for over 6 years. The FLC provides a drop-in, one-stop center for services including: (1) Financial literacy; (2) help with applications and debt; (3) job readiness and life skills; (4) support groups and volunteer opportunities; (5) connection and referral to housing; and, (6) One-on-one case management. To better the program, the funds will be used to develop a mentoring program that complements the existing discharge planning services currently offered at the men's minimum security facility. The program will be designed to provide participants with flexibility, and to encourage the formation of natural, healthy relationships. Upon release, mentors will encourage their mentees to attend monthly Men's Collaborative meetings. All mentees will have access to the comprehensive transitional services offered by the FLC, in addition to those unique services provided by the transitional jobs program. The project will serve approximately 45 individuals per year for a total of 90 individuals over the two-year grant period.


Date Created: September 28, 2009