Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $2,045,584)
The Recovery Act Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program (Byrne Competitive Program) will help communities improve the capacity of state and local justice systems and provide for national support efforts including training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address local needs. This competitive grant announcement focuses on initiatives in eight areas: 1) preventing and reducing violent crime through community-based data-driven approaches; 2) providing funding for neighborhood-based probation and parole officers; 3) reducing mortgage fraud and crime related to vacant properties; 4) hiring of civilian support personnel in law enforcement (training staff, analysts, dispatchers, etc.); 5) enhancing forensic and crime scene investigations; 6) improving resources and services for victims of crime; 7) supporting problem-solving courts; and 8) national training and technical assistance partnerships.
Under category 2, the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department will use the grant award to create a prisoner reentry initiative. There are more than 8,000 prisoners in the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) who will return to Maricopa County with a consecutive probation period following their discharge from prison. In response to the increasing prison population with consecutive probation periods, a group consisting of interagency collaborators began identifying gaps within the system to address supervision issues such as inaccurate release dates, the lack of reentry planning, and the large number of offenders who abscond prior to reporting to a probation office (which is approximately 25 percent of all ADC releases). The goal of the prison reentry initiative is to reduce recidivism of individuals released from the ADC to probation, thereby increasing neighborhood safety and the efficiency of the criminal justice system. To accomplish this goal, the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department will hire 15 specialized officers to provide reentry needs assessment, planning, and immediate interventions to smooth the transition between prison and probation. These officers, who will be highly trained in motivational interviewing, will assess and develop case plans for this reentry population in order to address their criminogenic risks and target interventions to reduce recidivism and absconding rates.