Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $454,859)
The Second Chance Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110-199) provides a comprehensive response to the increasing number of incarcerated adults and juveniles who are released from prison, jail, and juvenile residential facilities and returning to communities. The Second Chance Act will help ensure that the transition individuals make from prison, jail, or juvenile residential facilities to the community is successful and promotes public safety. Section 115 of the Second Chance Act authorizes the U.S. Attorney General to make federal awards to states, units of local government, territories, and federally recognized Indian tribes to provide technology career training to persons confined in state prisons, local jails, and juvenile residential facilities.
The goal of the Second Chance Act Technology Careers Training Demonstration Projects for Incarcerated Adults and Juveniles is to increase the post-release employability of offenders in related technology-based jobs and career fields. The objective of the program is to establish and provide technology career training programs to train incarcerated adults and juveniles during the 3-year period before release from a prison, jail, or juvenile facility.
Western Virginia Regional Jail Authority will use the FY 11 SCA funds to support the "TechCareers" program intended to train and place 25 offenders in Microcomputer Systems Technology-related jobs. The program is a collaboration between Western Virginia Regional Jail, Virginia Western Community College, and Virginia CARES (Community Action Re-Entry System, a statewide reentry program providing transitional assistance to returning offenders). Under the grant funds, the program will provide training in Microcomputer Systems Technology to 25 adult mentally ill inmates with Axis I disorders returning to Southwest Virginia. The purpose of the program is to improve the employability of returning mentally ill offenders by creating opportunities for long-term employment and career-building in high-growth, high demand technology-based industries.
The goals for the TechCareers collaborative partnership will be to: (1) Improve the employability of mentally ill and/or former substance abusing offenders seeking jobs and/or careers in technology-based industries; (2) improve the mental health of offenders participating in the TechCareers program through evidence-based Supported Employment and Supported Education practices; (3) improve the Coordinated Response of TechCareers Primary Partners in the training, employment placement, and treatment of mentally ill offenders; and (4) build a regional reputation of excellence in providing technology-based training and support to returning mentally ill offenders.