Gov’t to Donate $74.5 Million to Adult and Youth Ex-Convicts Returning to Communities

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs today announced awards over $74.5 million to reduce recidivism among adults and youth returning to their communities after confinement.

          These awards represent the Administration’s commitment to assisting people in America’s prisons and detention facilities who have earned the opportunity to take their places back in society. In this regard, President Trump has declared April as Second Chance Month.

          “High rates of recidivism impact both public safety and the lives of offenders who are unable, unwilling or ill-equipped to break out of the cycle of repeated offenses,” said OJP’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt M. Dummermuth. “These awards are an important component of the Department’s ongoing attempts to reduce recidivism and promote successful reentry of formerly incarcerated individuals into communities.”

          In 2018, OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and National Institute of Justice awarded grants to state, local and tribal jurisdictions, research institutions, and other organizations to support approaches to reintegrating offenders into communities.

          BJA awarded more than $54.5 million to 72 jurisdictions, nonprofits, educational institutions and other organizations to facilitate successful reentry and recidivism reduction efforts for adults across the United States. These grants support state and local jurisdictions, American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages, probation and parole agencies, and community and faith based organizations to improve reentry and recidivism reduction through data-driven strategies and programs. Additionally, these grants enable access and delivery of services to offenders with co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness who are reentering communities, as well as enable jurisdictions to build capacity for supervision over high-risk offenders with a history of serious violence.

          BJA also awarded more than $6 million to the National Adult and Juvenile Offender Reentry Resource Center, a continuation of funding from a FY 2016 competitive grant program. The Center directly supports Second Chance Act grantees (adult and juvenile reentry programs) by identifying and promoting inmate and offender management practices that work, as well as innovative and promising approaches to reduce recidivism and strengthen reentry success. In addition to serving as the training and technical assistance provider to all Second Chance Act grantees, the Center maintains a central, online hub for reentry information dissemination to the field; provides overall reentry education to tribes, state and local government agencies, and service providers; and assists both BJA and OJJDP in helping jurisdictions prioritize their reentry and recidivism reduction efforts and resources.

          OJJDP awarded $14.2 million to support 16 jurisdictions and provide funding to researchers to supplement reentry services for detained juveniles with children and incarcerated parents. More than $7.2 million was awarded to 10 jurisdictions under OJJDP’s Second Chance Act Addressing the Needs of Incarcerated Parents with Minor Children program to support the successful and safe transition of young fathers and mothers from detention, out-of-home placement or incarceration to their families and communities.

          Nearly $4 million in additional funding was awarded to six jurisdictions under OJJDP’s Second Chance Act Ensuring Public Safety and Improving Outcomes for Youth in Confinement and While Under Community Supervision program. This program helps jurisdictions better serve gang-involved juveniles with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.

          Finally, nearly $2 million was awarded to conduct an evaluation of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice’s reentry system improvement efforts, including addressing youth’s criminogenic needs and transforming case management procedures to ensure continuity of care during the transition from institutional control back into community settings.

          NIJ, OJP’s research and evaluation component, awarded nearly $6.2 million to five recipients to perform rigorous research examining the success of reentry strategies, programs and practices. The awards reflect an emphasis on using randomized controlled trials when evaluating effectiveness and success of promising practices.

          “Reentry is a vitally important issue in American corrections, especially in reducing violent crime,” said David Muhlhausen, NIJ director and executive director of the Federal Interagency Council on Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry. “Given the lack of scientific evidence finding reentry programs to be effective at reducing recidivism, NIJ’s focus on randomized controlled trials will hopefully lead to identifying effective programs that will serve as models for replication.”

          Findings from the research will inform, in part, the Second Chance Act Community-based Adult Reentry Program, assist practitioners and policymakers seeking to implement effective interventions in their jurisdictions, and advance the body of knowledge on best practices in offender reentry. The award recipients are as follows:

Awardee: Amount Awarded:
Regents of the University of Michigan  $799,922
American Institutes for Research  $799,988
President and Fellows of Harvard College  $1,129,918
University of Cincinnati  $2,503,344
George Mason University  $957,325

 A full list of the awards, organized under specific grant programs and listed awardees by state, is available online at:

Edited by Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He's formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, a columnist, and a contributor to the nationally syndicated talk-radio program, the Chuck Wilder Show.. He's former chief of police at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at St. Peter's University and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.

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