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Offenders About to Reenter Society (O.A.R.S)

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.

Florida Department of Corrections (FDC), in partnership with the City of Jacksonville (COJ), will use the FY 2009 Second Chance Act Prisoner Reentry Initiative funds to deliver a comprehensive model through the Offenders About to Reenter Society (O.A.R.S) initiative for inmate reentry into Jacksonville (Duval County), Florida. The O.A.R.S initiative is designed to reduce recidivism by 50% over a 5-year period. The initiative will target male and female inmates, age 18 and older, convicted and/or returning to Jacksonville (Duval County) Florida with or without supervision. The program will assist with the transition from prison to the community through implemented strategies. Under the grant funds, OARS will identify individual needs of the target population, implement evidence-based practices, and coordinate pre- and post-release services. Offender pre- and post-release services will include: (1) risk and needs assessments; (2) case management; (3) cognitive behavioral counseling; (4) employment training; (5) GED/education; (6) substance abuse and mental health treatment; (7) medical screening; (8) vocational training; and (9) family counseling.


Date Created: August 25, 2009