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Second Chance Act Innovations in Reentry Initiative

SRR forum participants

Chief Wendy Still (left) from the Alameda County, California Probation Department and Dr. Faye Taxman (right), a researcher with expertise in the intersection between behavioral health and criminal justice at George Mason University, attend the launch of the Alameda Transition Day Reporting Center in 2015 .

This grant program provides funding for state and local government agencies and federally recognized tribal governments to plan and implement effective reentry strategies that reduce recidivism and increase public safety. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers the awards.

Objectives and Deliverables

Grantees of this program develop comprehensive and collaborative strategies to address reentry challenges for people who are assessed as having a medium to high risk of recidivism. The Innovations in Reentry Initiative (formerly known as Smart Reentry, the Two-Phase Adult Reentry Demonstration Program, the Adult Offender Reentry Program for Planning and Demonstration Projects, and the Prisoner Reentry Initiative) is part of BJA’s Innovations Suite of programs, which invest in the development of practitioner-researcher partnerships that use data, evidence, and innovation to assess problems and create strategies and interventions that are both effective and economical. A research partner is involved from the start of the grant period to help grantees develop the strategic plan. Innovations in Reentry grantees must complete a planning phase and receive BJA approval to begin implementation of their strategic plans.

Allowable uses for grant funds include:

  • Forming or supporting a reentry task force to develop a reentry strategic plan;
  • Evaluating the jurisdiction’s approach to contracting reentry services and assessing whether or not contracted services in their jurisdiction are achieving positive results;
  • Supporting a comprehensive range of reentry services that target criminogenic risk, including cognitive-behavioral programming; educational, vocational, and job placement services; transitional employment; substance use treatment; supportive housing; mental health and medical care; programs that promote family reunification; mentoring and peer support; and civil legal aid;
  • Targeting criminogenic needs through evidence-based interventions and services;
  • Providing sustained case planning and management in the community;
  • Providing staff training, coaching, and performance evaluations on newly adopted evidence-based practices;
  • Planning and implementing strategies to expand options for access to health benefits; and
  • Developing or enhancing data systems.

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

Current and Past Grantees

BJA has awarded 150 grants for these reentry initiatives, which have provided pre- and post-release services for more than 60,000 adults: