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 Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) will use grant funds to implement the Moms and Babies Enhancement and Expansion Project for IDOC to fund a reentry case management and family reunification component in the currently operating Moms & Babies Program, a prison-based nursery program located at the Decatur Correctional Center in central Illinois. While direct substance abuse counseling and education are currently available on-site at the Decatur Correctional Center, participants in the Moms & Babies Program have a high vulnerability for relapse upon completion of treatment because they lack the knowledge of, or lack access to, the resources needed for smooth and quick transitions into effective, supportive services. Overall, the gains made in institutional treatment are not likely to be sustained over the long term without expanded community-based treatment services, family reunification services, dedicated case management services and a recovery-oriented system of care upon release. By funding a Family Reentry Coach to provide case management and a Family Case Manager in the community to, it is hoped that women and their babies will better transition back into the community. Other goals include maintaining low recidivism rates for the mother participants and helping their children grow up without any involvement in the criminal justice system. The University of Chicago Crime Lab has also agreed to evaluate the program and to conduct a cost-benefit analysis on a pro bono basis.