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Berks County, PA Comprehensive Community Reentry Plan

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $100,000)

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 into communities and the subsequent challenges communities face as offenders attempt to reintegrate into society. 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 Community Resource Network (CRN) created a community-based services to the target population. The primary tools for screening participants are the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) and a needs assessment interview. The target population was identified as: a) sentenced inmates at Berks County Jail; b) classification status as medium, minimum, or trusty; and c) an LSI-R score of 40 or less. The project will begin with 132 participants with the possibility to increase the number to 188. Assistance provided will include employment workshop, homeless shelter vouchers, bus passes, clothing vouchers, financial assistance in obtaining a legal identification card. Participating agencies will include County MH/MR Program, Council on Chemical Abuse, Community Development Office, Reading Housing Authority, Berks County Youth Center, Berks County Juvenile Probation Office, Pennsylvania CareerLink, Berks County District Attorney, Berks County Chiefs of Police Association, County Jail, Probation and Parole Office, Berks County Commissioners, Berks County Court, County Criminal justice Advisory Board, Berks County Assistance Office, Reading Police Department, City of Reading, Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the U.S. Attorney's Office. Specficially, the grant funds will be used for personnel costs, travel/training, supplies, and contracted services.


Date Created: August 30, 2010