"Today when I think of reentry court, I am reminded that nearly every offender sentenced to time in custody will return to the community from whence they came. And thus, every sentencing court is in fact, a reentry court, creating a pathway for the offender’s reentry into society." -Jeff Tauber

Fed “Second Chance Act” Funding: $37 Million for Reentry Demos

The DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance  (BJA) released it’s RFP under Sec.101 of the “Second Chance Act”, providing $37 million in funding for Adult and Juvenile Reentry Demonstation Grants on December 22nd, (with an application deadline of March 4, 2010). We can expect more grants to come on line in the coming weeks and months. This year alone, funding under the “Second Chance Act” has increased nearly 400% to $100 million.

Dr. Gary L. Dennis, Senior Policy Advisor for Corrections, at BJA (and administrator of the “Second Chance Act”), advises  that  reentry courts are elligible as applicants for 2010 Reentry Demonstartion Grants. Even so, it may be prudent for reentry courts to accesss critical resources through government agency partners that may be more attractive applicants to BJA; such as  jails, prisons, probation, parole and rehabilitation services (remember that the 2010 “Second Chance Act” provides $10 million for reentry courts alone).

Don’t forget grant applicability to jail-based reentry courts or pre-entry courts

The  recently enacted “Second Chance Act” and other federal reentry legislation recognize the critical importance of keeping the non-violent offender out of prison in the first place. Whether called reentry/drug court, pre-entry court, or jail-based reentry court; a probation-based reentry court that places sentenced felons in custodial programs rather than prison, may access Sec.101 reentry demonstration project funds. [see Reentry/Drug Court Model]

Key Criteria For Reentry Demonstration Project funding:

1. Applicants are limited to state and local government agencies

2. Each grantee must have an active “task force” representing diverse community interests.

3. Applicants must provide description of the role of corrections agencies in reentry

4. Applicants must have a comprehensive, long-term reentry strategy

5. Applicants must provide information on how outcomes will be monitored and tracked

6. Priority  is given to applicants focused on areas with large numbers of returnees

7. Priority given to applicants providing effective case management in reentry processes.

8. Priority is given to applicants using graduated sanctions and Incentives as conditions of release or probation

[see BJA’s Complete Reentry Demomonstration Project Application/Critereia]

$10 Million Reentry Court Funding Passes Congress

EXTRA/EXTRA

On Decemeber 13th, Congress appropriated $10 million dollars for Reentry Courts under “Section 111” of the Second Chance Act.  In all, a total of $100 was appropriated under the  “Second Chance Act”.  Additionally the Department of Justice (DOJ)  provided $14 million for reentry initiatives within the Federal Bureau of  Prisons, and the Department of Labor earmarked $108 million for work/training related services. (see Reentry Policy Council press release)

“Second Chance  Act” funding is up four-fold from a year ago.   It should be noted that reentry courts and their community partners may be able to appropriately access far more than the funds made specifically available to “reentry courts”. Much of that money will be available to community based coalitions made up of government, non-profit, and  other community organizations. There may be more than $300 million available during fiscal year 2010 for community-based  coalitons that have a reentry  court as one of its partners.


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