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Second Chance Act Improving Reentry for Adults with Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Program

Staff and participants of the Reentry Intervention Prevention program

Staff at the Rockdale County (GA) Jail gather with participants of the Reentry Intervention Prevention program—which connects people who have co-occurring substance use and mental disorders to reentry services—during a graduation ceremony.

This grant program provides funding for state and local government agencies and federally recognized tribal governments to provide reentry services and programs for adults who have co-occurring substance addictions and mental illnesses returning to their communities after incarceration. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers the awards.

Objectives and Deliverables

The purpose of the program is to increase correctional systems’ ability to address the needs of adults returning from incarceration who have co-occurring substance addictions and mental illnesses, with the goal of reducing recidivism and improving public safety and public health.

The objectives of this program are to:

  • Standardize screening processes for mental illnesses and substance addictions by using a validated tool for all people entering the correctional facility (e.g., at booking, intake, or classifications);
  • Provide assessments for criminogenic risk, mental illnesses, and substance addictions prior to a person's release from the correctional facility;
  • Provide evidence-based mental illness and substance addiction treatment and cognitive behavioral interventions before and after release to address criminogenic risk factors;
  • Develop collaborative comprehensive case plans that incorporate information from the criminogenic risk, mental illness, and substance addiction assessments; and
  • Create a performance measurement plan that outlines who is responsible for data collection, input, and analysis.

Allowable program activities include:

  • Screening and assessment for substance addictions and mental illnesses, as well as a validated risk assessment while the person is in prison or jail;
  • Providing treatment for co-occurring substance addictions and mental illnesses, including integrated dual diagnosis treatment;
  • Pre-release and post-release collaborative comprehensive case planning;
  • Case management; and
  • Providing linkages to other wraparound or recovery support services, including health care coverage, employment, education, housing, life skills training, and post-release treatment and aftercare programming in the community, which may include parole, probation, or court supervision with specialized caseloads.

For more information, see the most recent BJA grant solicitation and webinar.

Current and Past Grantees

Since 2010, BJA has awarded 104 grants for co-occurring substance addiction and mental illness treatment programs for adults, and in 2010 and 2013, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) issued nine total grant awards for treatment programs for co-occurring substance addictions and mental illnesses targeting juveniles in reentry: