U.S. flag

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

Comprehensive reentry/reintegration services to reduce recidivism and promote successful reentry for male prisoners returning to the District of Columbia with active child support orders

Award Information

Award #
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $292,114)

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.

District of Columbia Courts will use the grant funds to support the Fathering Reentry Court (FRC). The Superior Court of the District of Columbia Courts houses the Fathering Reentry Court. The overall mission of the program is to provide comprehensive reentry/reintegration services to reduce recidivism and promote successful reentry for male prisoners returning to the District of Columbia with active child support orders. The FRC will serve 45 ex-offenders participating in pre-release services. The goal will be to reduce recidivism by giving offenders returning to the community the support and skills they need to successfully reenter the workforce and meet their financial obligations. To meet this goal the funds will be used to: (1) Recruit and enroll 45 offenders being released with outstanding child support orders; and (2) provide support services, job readiness, employment and substance abuse services and treatment. The Courts will hire a Family Court Services Coordinator to coordinate and provide all case management services. The FRC staff will help ex-offenders fulfill their financial obligation to their children and help prepare returning fathers for active and positive co-parenting with the mothers of their children.


Date Created: August 30, 2010