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Evaluation and Sustainability Support for Second Chance Act Grants

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $3,036,868)

The Comprehensive Corrections Training and Technical Assistance Program provides comprehensive and high quality training and technical assistance (TTA) to BJA’s grantees and criminal justice practitioners to improve the delivery of correctional services and increase public safety by improving outcomes for people detained and incarcerated in correctional facilities.

Through this category the TTA provider will ensure Second Chance Act grantees complete rigorous evaluations and communicate learnings back to the field, and to improve grantees’ capacity to sustain effective SCA-funded strategies. The SCA authorizes federal grants to government agencies and nonprofit organizations with the goal of increasing reentry programming and improving outcomes for offenders returning to their families and communities from prison or jail. Grantees conduct a variety of activities including making general system improvements and providing employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing, mentoring, and other services, as well as working with research partners to evaluate their efforts. However, the evaluations vary substantially in quality and approach which limits the utility of results; and the funded activities often cease at the conclusion of the project period. Given the potential public safety and fiscal implications of an offender’s successful reentry into society, it is critical for correctional stakeholders to know which reentry initiatives are the most efficacious and to sustain them. This TTA provider will work with the National Reentry Resource Center to support SCA grantees while providing independence from the NRRC’s interest in grantees’ success.

The objectives of this award are as follows: enhance the capacity of FY19 SCA grantees to conduct rigorous evaluations and sustain reentry strategies that reduce recidivism, create a model process that can be used with future grantees to make rigorous evaluation and sustainability more feasible and accessible, and communicate results of strategies tested by SCA grantees to the field.

The Research Triangle Institute (RTI), in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation (CCI) will use award funds to provide high-quality, needs-based, individual and group TTA focused on evaluation and sustainability planning to the 25 selected sites using TTA coaches and individualized support. They will also focus on building a learning community among selected sites through actively engaging grantees as partners in the TTA, implementing peer-to-peer learning activities, and establishing a community of practice site. RTI will develop a suite of tested, practitioner-friendly tools and resources that can be used by all SCA grantees to evaluate and sustain their programs as well as engage a practitioner advisory panel consisting of a diverse group of experienced SCA program directors, SCA research partners, and representatives from key national corrections practitioner associations.


Date Created: September 30, 2019