U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Norfolk, VA Circuit Court Reentry Docket

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $136,692)

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. Section 111 of the Second Chance Act authorizes the creation of state, local, and tribal reentry courts to monitor offenders and provide them with the treatment services needed to establish a self-sustaining and law-abiding life.

The Second Chance Act State, Local, and Tribal Reentry Courts Grant Program 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.
Reentry courts are specialized courts that help reduce recidivism and improve public safety through the use of judicial oversight to apply graduated sanctions and positive reinforcement; to marshal resources to support the prisoner's reintegration; and to promote positive behavior by the returning prisoners. The goal of a reentry court is to establish a seamless system of offender accountability and support services throughout the reentry process. These courts may be implemented as part of an overall drug court program.

Focused on the back-end of the criminal justice system, the reentry court should be designed to leverage partnerships between courts and corrections to facilitate successful offender reintegration. While reentry court approaches vary based on the laws and needs of a jurisdiction, the core components of a reentry court are standard and must include: 1) assessment and planning; 2) active oversight; 3) management of support services; 4) accountability; 5) graduated, swift-and-certain sanctions; and 6) rewards for success.

The Supreme Court of Virginia will use the FY 2010 grant funds to support the Norfolk Circuit Court Reentry Docket (NCCRD). The NCCRD will provide coordinated and comprehensive reentry planning, supervision, substance abuse treatment, case management, and judicial oversight with the goals of reducing recidivism, increasing public safety, and increasing participation in targeted services to meet offender needs. The Circuit Court of Norfolk was chosen as the pilot site for this project due to its strong judicial leadership and interest, a history of other innovative court projects, and existing community collaborations for reentry efforts.

With support of the grant funds, the Norfolk Drug Treatment Court program will intensively serve 40 inmates reentering Norfolk and will address current gaps in programs and services for locally responsible inmates. The defendants on the NCCRD will be subject to graduated sanctions in combination with intensive supervision, case management, and substance abuse treatment to produce sustained change with reduced recidivism. The activities will include: (1) Providing: a) intensive probation supervision, b) judicial oversight, and c) intensive services; (2) working with program and community partners to: a) identify needs and services, and b) offer a wide range of services to meet specific offender needs; and (3) providing: a) rewards and incentives, and b) intensive support and case management services; and (4) collaborating with partners to best address offender needs.


Date Created: September 1, 2010