Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $750,000)
The Second Chance Act Technology Careers Training Demonstration Projects for Incarcerated Adults and Juveniles is designed to provide resources to states, units of local government, and federally recognized tribes for career training in the area of technology for offenders. Grantees must identify a process for assessment and selection of a specific subset of the population of offenders incarcerated in a prison, jail, juvenile facility, juvenile camp, juvenile community-based program, or juvenile residential facility. Offenders must participate in Project activities during the three-year period prior to release into the community. This Program furthers the Department of Justice commitment to providing services and programs to help facilitate the successful integration of offenders as they return to their communities.
The Technology Career Trainings must include a curriculum that helps participants acquire and develop skills needed to build potentially successful careers in technology-related fields. The training curriculum must identify necessary skills and competencies, provide real-world work experience, teach transferable job skills and soft skills to help prepare for post-release reentry and employment, and provide resources to support training in technology areas. The specific type of technology-based job(s) incorporated into the training program is at the discretion of each grantee. However, the grantee must be able to justify the selected training as technology-related. Some examples of technology-based field include, but are not limited, to the following: computer assisted design in engineering; information technology; Braille transcription training and certification; wireless and broadband deployment; technician positions; computer hardware/software; and computer science and programming. Where applicable, the trainings should result in a recognized certificate, degree, or license that indicates a level of mastery and competence in the selected technology focus area. The technology career trainings must restrict access to the Internet by incarcerated persons, as appropriate, to ensure public safety.
The Virginia Department of Correctional Education (DCE), in partnership with the Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) and Virginia Goodwill Network, will provide offenders with education, job preparedness, and services for a seamless reentry following their release. This technology training project will: 1) provide postsecondary academic education for technology careers to incarcerated offenders, with priority given to incarcerated individuals who are within 12 - 18 months of release and demonstrate a high risk for recidivism by their scores on the COMPAS Reentry Assessment and DCE recommendation; and 2) identify and coordinate pre- and post-release services and activities to enhance the likelihood of successful transitions into the community. Pre- and post-release services will include but will not be limited to employability training, job linkages, housing arrangements, and assistance with setting up payment plans for restitution, other debts, and payment of court fees.