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Delaware's Reentry Court Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $240,017)

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.

Executive Office of the Governor of Delaware will use the FY 2010 grant funds for the Delaware's Reentry Court. The Criminal Justice Council is the state administrative agency (SAA) for Delaware and will be the fiscal agent for the project. The DE Superior Court reentry initiative reentry court operates in New Castle County (NCC) and targets repeat offenders who have been incarcerated at least one year and have a community service obligation as a condition of their release. The goal of the initiative is to establish a seamless system of offender accountability and support services throughout the reentry process. The target population for this program will be a minimum of 100 offenders, 18 years and older post release. Core elements of a reentry court will include: (1) Assessment of offender needs and planning for release;(2) active judicial oversight of offenders during period of supervised release, including use of graduated and parsimonious sanctions for violation of release conditions; (3) broad array of supportive services with community involvement; and (4) positive judicial reinforcement of successful completion of reentry court goals. Specifically, the grant funds will be utilized to: (1) Provide a contractual judicial case manager to work in Superior Court in New Castle County; (2) provide a contractual case manager; (3) allow for community case management through a non-profit agency; and, (4) provide reentry discharge packets to 500 individuals leaving the facilities. Furthermore, the funds will be used to subgrant to the Statistical Analysis Center to conduct an evaluation of the reentry court. The idea is to create and implement a plan that increases the availability of effective resources for individuals returning from custody to the community.


Date Created: September 15, 2010