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San Francisco Reentry Court

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
San Francisco
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.

City and County of San Francisco will use the FY 2010 grant funds to develop and implement the Reentry Court. The San Francisco Reentry Court will include coordination with the Collaborative Courts Division of the San Francisco Superior Court, the Public Defender, District Attorney, and the Department of Public Health. The goal of this initiative will be to reduce recidivism through use of early validated risk/needs assessments, evidence-based sentencing, evidence-based treatment, and close judicial and community monitoring using the collaborative approach. All program participants will be linked to wrap-around services to help them avoid returning to jail and will include services to help with employment, education, family services, health and mental health, and housing. Under the grant, the Reentry Court Probation Officer will work with each participant to develop an Individualized Treatment and Reentry Plan (ITRP), using assessment results to decide the most appropriate types of community wraparound services and level of supervision. The ITRP programming, in addition to substance abuse treatment, may include mental health services, life skills, family counseling and reunification services, domestic violence services, educational services, and employment services. The program will also include a family reunification plan. Electronic monitoring will be used as an alternative sanction for Reentry Court Probationers in order to allow participants to be sanctioned but still continue to remain in a community setting working on successfully integrating back into the community and working on their treatment plan.


Date Created: September 15, 2010