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Wisconsin Second Chance Initiative

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $750,000)

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.

The State of Wisconsin will use the FY 2009 Second Chance Act Prisoner Reentry Initiative funding to enhance their Second Chance Initiative. The primary goals of the program are: (1) to decrease recidivism by 50 percent; (2) establish the operational system of the Wisconsin Second Chance Initiative; and (3) to increase employment and community stability of participants. Additional goals include identifying program successes and expanding permanent funding. The funds will be used to hire several personnel to coordinate and monitor the Department's responsibilities for the initiative evaluation and reporting plan. These individuals will also establish coordination and agreement between agencies involved in the initiatives by ensuring that conflicting goals and priorities come together for cohesive implementation. Funds will also be used for creating expectations and accountability for reentry among inmates, staff, and the community as well as for documenting the impact of the system and reporting to elected officials and stakeholders.


Date Created: September 15, 2009