Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $750,000)
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.
Arkansas Department of Community Correction will use the grant funds for the Offender Rentry Project. The Department of Community Correction (DCC) is the lead agency partnering with the Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC), and the Arkansas Parole Board (APB). The program is a collaborative effort to assess offender risks and needs through a validated assessment tool starting at intake and coordination needed services to ensure successful reentry into the community. Services and support will be provided to the inmate during incarceration and while under community supervision to meet the needs and address public safety issues. The program goals are to reduce recidivism and ensure public safety. Approximately 200 males are expected to be served during the first year. The project is overseen by a Reentry Task Force, with membership representing areas of evaluation, administrative authority, fiscal management, probation/parole services, health and corrections programs, research, substance abuse treatment, community-based provider, and community-based programs for incarcerated adults. Treatment and programs are provided to inmates based on identified needs through the intake assessment tool. Once released the reentry plan will be the focus for programs and services that address the identified risks and needs of the offender.