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Allegheny County Reentry Initiative

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $608,339)

The Second Chance Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110-199) reflects a comprehensive response to the increasing number of people who are released from prison and jail and returning to communities. There are currently 2.3 million people serving time in our 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 people make from prison or jail to the community is safe and successful. Section 101 of the Act, in addition to providing grants to state and local governments and federally recognized Indian tribes that may be used for demonstration reentry projects, also allows for the establishment of a National Adult and Juvenile Offender Reentry Resource Center.

The Second Chance Act Prisoner Reentry Initiative provides funding to state and local governments and federally recognized Indian tribes for demonstration projects to promote the safe and successful reintegration into the community of individuals who have been incarcerated. Funded demonstration projects will use validated and dynamic assessment tools to determine the risks and needs of offenders.
Projects will provide offenders in prisons or jails with all necessary services to facilitate reentry into the community. In addition, the projects will develop procedures to ensure that dangerous felons are not released from prison prematurely and provide services that address treatment needs and protect communities against dangerous offenders Allowable uses of funds to enhance a successful transition include: pre-release assessment and case planning, mentoring, housing, education, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, services to enhance family reunification, job training and readiness, and post-release case management and supervision.

Allegheny County will use the FY 2009 Second Chance Act Prisoner Reentry Initiative funds to implement their Jail Collaborative plan. The overall goal of the program is to reduce recidivism by 50 percent in the target population of sentenced offenders. The Jail Collaborative will use the funds for: (1) improving coordination of staff, resources, and data across the system, and adding a reentry team composed of skilled reentry, family support, and probation specialists; (2) expanding the capacity of rehabilitation and treatment programs inside and outside of the jail and tapping the resources of family and natural supports; (3) applying evidence-based practices and improving the processes that are key to successful reentry, including assessments of risk and need, transition planning, and community supervision and support; (4) creating expectations and accountability for reentry among inmates, staff, and community; and (5) documenting the impact of the system and reporting to elected officials and stakeholders. Detailed outcome data on participants will be collected, and the results will be used to evaluate and improve the system.


Date Created: August 25, 2009