This report on the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA’s) Innovations in Reentry Initiative (IRI) under the federal Second Chance Act (SCA) addresses the program’s purpose, eligibility, funding amount, award period, allowable use of funds, and grantee highlights.
Signed into law in April 2008 and reauthorized in 2018, the SCA aims to improve public safety by reducing recidivism and improving services for those returning to their communities from prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities. The IRI provides state and local jurisdictions and Indian tribes with the resources to identify assets and gaps in their reentry systems and improve their approaches to reentry. With BJA support for training and technical assistance, grantees assess their reentry systems, identify strengths and gaps in reentry services, and build capacity for either improving reentry systems generally or service delivery specifically by implementing or expanding a reentry program. States, counties, Native American tribal governments, and local governments are eligible for IRI grants. Projects follow a three-phase approach of planning, implementation, and evaluation during the 4-year grant period. This report outlines the goals of each of these phases. IRI grantee projects are described for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona for fiscal year (FY) 2019, the Alameda County Probation Department (California) for FY 2018, and the Palm Beach County Department of Public Safety (Florida) for FY 2017.