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Rhode Island Department of Corrections Family-Focus Initiative

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $287,574)

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 Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) will use grant funds for the Family Focused Initiative to coordinate existing resources and to expand the RIDOC's and state capacity to support incarcerated parents, their children and the families affected by parental incarceration. The goal is to create a statewide system promoting responsible fatherhood, which will contribute to sustaining healthy relationships, crime free lives and end family intergenerational incarceration, thus creating safer communities. Upon sentencing, the RIDOC will identify eligible inmates and their families through the use of the Level of Service Inventory: Revised (LSI-R) assessment tool. Subsequently to an agreement to participate in this program, inmate fathers will be placed in a specialized caseload, enrolled in centered programming and given enrollment priority for programs that address their individual risk factors. Family-Focused Caseworkers will be assigned to the families, conduct strength-based assessments and provide support and referrals to the families. A state reaction survey will also be conducted. The intent of the survey is to identify how the state support systems react to the parental incarceration. The results of this survey will be presented to two bodies created by Executive Order of the Governor, to include the Statewide Prisoner Re-entry Council and the Rhode Island Fatherhood Coalition. Both initiatives are tasked with creating the mechanisms for systems change by establishing cross-system collaborations.


Date Created: August 31, 2010