Senator Coburn Memo lays out Reentry Funding

A memo from Senator Tom Coburn’s office (rep, Ok ), provides a comprehensive picture of Department Of Justice (and other departments) reentry funding.  The memo’s purpose was to expose duplicate funding within the federal government, but in doing so lays out a comprehensive  picture of available federal funds for reentry purposes.

[Note: A valuable document for those researching reentry court funding streams; in particular,  DOJ’s $520 million  Byrne JAG Funding and Department of Labor’s $100 million plus funding for ex-offender reentry):

Second Chance Act

Funded at more than $100 million in FY 2010, the Second Chance Act funds offender-prisoner reentry programs.

DOJ is responsible for allocating $100 million, which breaks down into the following amounts:

· $37 million for grants for adult and juvenile offender state and local reentry demonstration projects,

· $15 million for grants for mentoring and transitional services,

· $10 million for reentry courts,

· $7.5 million for family based substance abuse treatment,

· $2.5 million for evaluation and improvement of education at prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities,

· $5 million for technology careers training demonstration grants,

· $13 million for offender reentry substance abuse and criminal justice collaboration, and

· $10 million for prisoner reentry research.

There are a number of other programs, both within DOJ and at other agencies, which also make money available to states and localities for the purpose of facilitating prisoner reentry, as outlined below.

Department of Justice’s Prisoner Reentry Initiative

DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs-Bureau of Justice Assistance administers the Prisoner Reentry Initiative ($11.7 million in FY 2008), which provides funding to states and federally recognized tribes to develop, implement, enhance, and evaluate reentry strategies. It targets individuals 18 or older that have not been convicted of a violent or sex-related offense and assists them with returning to their communities after periods of incarceration.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the following DOJ programs are also able to be used by states and localities to fund prisoner reentry efforts. (All below was excerpted from CRS Report RL34287.)

· DOJ maintains formula grant programs outlined below that provide assistance to states or local units of government according to legislatively mandated formulas; this funding can be used for offender reentry purposes at the state or local unit of government’s discretion. In addition to these programs, the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program can also be used by states to support offender reentry activities and initiatives.

· Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The COPS program does not expressly authorize funding for offender reentry purposes; nevertheless, under its broad community policing mandate, OJP has used this grant program on occasion to fund pilot offender reentry programs.

· Weed and Seed. The Weed and Seed program can also provide funding for state offender reentry programs. …Offender reentry programs can [qualify for this funding] because funding can be used to provide supervision for ex-offenders in the community, as well as to develop support services. In addition to participating in the [Prisoner Reentry Initiative] program, Weed and Seed is currently collaborating with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to create volunteer-driven offender reentry initiatives in communities.

· Juvenile Justice Grant Programs. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) administers a number of grants that can be used by states and units of local government to provide aftercare services (i.e., offender reentry programs) for juvenile delinquents who are returning to their communities from residential placement (i.e., prison).

· The National Institute of Corrections (NIC). Within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, NIC provides assistance for state and local corrections agencies. …NIC’s offender reentry-related support typically covers programs focused on preparing offenders for offender reentry while they are incarcerated. Specifically, the Office of Correctional Job Training and Placement works to advance the employability of offenders and ex-offenders, which is also duplicative of numerous efforts at the Department of Labor

Department of Labor’s Reintegration of Ex-Offenders

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 authorized this competitive grant program combines two previous demonstration projects, the Prisoner Reentry Initiative (PRI) ($108 million in FY 2010) and the Responsible Reintegration of Youthful Offenders (RRYO). PRI, funds faith-based and community organizations that help recently released prisoners find work when they return to their communities.

In addition, DOL maintains two programs that provide incentives for companies to hire ex-offenders. The Work Opportunity Tax Credits program provides up to $2,400 in tax credits to companies for every former offender they hire, and the Federal Bonding Program allows companies who cannot obtain bonding or insurance from their own providers to bond ex-offenders for up to $25,000 for up to six months.

According to CRS, various Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services programs may also be used to provide support for offender reentry education efforts, duplicative of efforts at the Department of Justice, including the following:

· Lifeskills for State and Local Inmates Program;

· the Grants to States for Workplace and Community Transition Training for Incarcerated Youth Offenders programs;

· Title II of the Workforce Investment Act, Adult Education and Family Literacy;

· The Perkins State Grant Program;

· HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Program;

· Programs through HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) and the Office of Community Services; and

· HHS’ Young Offender Reentry Program.

[Download: Council of State Government’s Federal Reentry funding list]

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