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"Engaging the Family - An Innovative Approach for the Max Out Offender" - Enhancement and Expansion Project

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $300,000)

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 NJ Department of Corrections (NJDOC), Office of Drug Programs, in collaboration with the State's Substance Abuse Authority, the NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Addiction Services, will use the grant funds to replicate, enhance and expand its federal promising practices demonstration project entitled "Engaging the Family in the Recovery Process - An Innovative Approach for the Max Out Offender." A majority of offenders, both male and female, are released from the NJDOC without the benefit of post-release parole supervision and case management. A good portion of these sentence completion or "max-out" offenders have unaddressed drug and/or alcohol treatment issues and leave without detailed treatment plans or access to post-release treatment services. These people return to their communities, and more importantly to their families, who may or may not be prepared for the presenting reentry adjustment.

The NJDOC will use the grant funds to provide reentry services and clinically appropriate substance abuse treatment to a historically hard to serve state sentenced offender population by engaging their families and thereby reduce relapse and recidivism. The project will target substance abuse involved offenders who have minor children, and are either married or have a committed partner, as well as those who are not in a relationship, but are co-parenting minor children. Through expansion under this initiative, the NJDOC will serve 90 offenders and families each year including women at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility and male offenders at an institution that currently does not offer such program options.


Date Created: September 19, 2010