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Strengthening Families in Transition is a project to expand services at the existing MDOC prison-based family treatment program to provide enhanced aftercare services for women during reentry process.

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $284,557)

The Second Chance Act (Pub. L. 110-199) provides a comprehensive response to the increasing number of parents who are incarcerated as well as their families. Research has shown that children may benefit from maintaining healthy relationships with their incarcerated parents. Section 113 of the Second Chance Act authorizes grants to states, units of local government, and Indian tribes to improve the provision of substance abuse treatment within prison and jails and after reentry for inmates who have minor children and also includes outreach to families and provision of treatment and other services to children and other family members of participant inmates. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) will fund eligible applicants to plan, implement, or expand such treatment programs.

The Family-Based Prisoner Substance Abuse Treatment Program enhances the capability of states and tribes to provide substance abuse treatment for incarcerated parents; prepares offenders for their reintegration into the communities from which they came by incorporating reentry planning activities into treatment programs; and assists offenders and their communities through the reentry process through the delivery of community-based treatment and other broad-based aftercare services. Projects will provide prison-based substance abuse treatment and parenting programs for incarcerated parents of minor children, as well as treatment and other services to the participating offenders minor children and family members. Programming must be targeted to inmates with minor children and include services for these inmates, their minor children, and other family members. By law, no less that 5 percent of the funds available for the Family-Based Substance Abuse Treatment Program will be used for grants to Indian Tribes.

The Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC) will use the grant funds for the project entitled "Strengthening Families in Transition." The DOC has identified a need for sustained aftercare in its existing contract for the Residential Program for Pregnant/Parenting Substance Abusing Female Offenders program operated by Spectrum Health Systems, Inc. (Spectrum). This is a nine-month residential program in Westborough, MA for pregnant or parenting women, with infants or young children, with a substance abuse history that are incarcerated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The goals of this program are to increase public safety and reduce recidivism by providing hands-on transitional assistance to women in the program and their families in planning for reentry and overcoming potential barriers to successful community living. The program will use consistent pre- and post-release case management and supervision that is sustained over a period of at least 6 months and is especially responsive to the offender's transition from incarceration to the community.


Date Created: September 19, 2010