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Pinellas Re-Entry Court

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $500,000)

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. 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 Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners will use the FY 2010 grant funds to support the Pinellas Re-Entry Court. The Pinellas Re-Entry Court will be created in partnership between Pinellas County and its Board of County Commissioners The target population will be male and female offenders age 18 and older who are post-release (with or without supervision) from incarceration in Pinellas County, Florida. The goal will be to serve at least 500 of these clients with pre- and post- release skills and reentry services to achieve the proposed recidivism reductions. Offenders will be linked to multiple programs, including legal, health, housing, work release, child support and family counseling, mental health, substance abuse, life skills, mentoring, job training and placement, education and employment, community resources (food, clothing), and transitional and permanent housing.

The program will take a unique, pioneering approach towards the jurisdictional model used for service delivery combining both a county-based model with a court/corrections dual jurisdiction model. The overall goal of this initiative, to reduce recidivism by 50% over a 5-year period, will be measured through the outcome evaluation. To meet this goal, the grantee will: (1) Complete at least 680 dynamic validated risk and needs assessments on the target population by June 2012; (2) provide inmates with comprehensive pre-release services; (3) complete re-entry plans for the target population; (4) refer the inmates in the target population to the Pinellas Re-Entry Court: (5) provide services to 100% of all referred inmates who request assistance in the Pinellas Re-Entry Court; and (6) track referred inmates who complete the Pinellas Re-Entry Court program through June 2015.


Date Created: September 15, 2010