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Second Chance Act Programs Supporting Mentoring and Transitional Services for Youth

SRR forum participants

Program participants engage in culturally specific, developmentally appropriate services through Southwest Key’s Un Puente al Hogar program, a 2015 SCA Latino/a Youth grantee in Austin, Texas.

Through the Second Chance Act, multiple grant programs provide funding for nonprofit organizations—including faith-based, tribal, and community-based nonprofit organizations—and federally recognized tribal communities to provide mentoring and transitional services for youth returning to their communities from secure confinement settings, as well as for children and families of incarcerated parents. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) administers these awards.

Second Chance Act Addressing the Needs of Incarcerated Parents With Minor Children

This program promotes and expands services in detention and correctional facilities to incarcerated people who have children under the age of 18. This program provides states, territories, and units of local government with funding to implement positive family engagement strategies and activities that address the needs of incarcerated parents with minor children. Program activities include developing strategies to increase and enhance communication between the child and their incarcerated parent while maintaining safe facilities and providing transitional reentry services that incorporate a focus on parental responsibility for incarcerated parents.

The objectives of this program are to:

  • Reduce the incarcerated parent’s behavioral infractions during incarceration and chances of recidivating after release;
  • Provide services that foster positive youth development for children of incarcerated parents; these services may include, but are not limited to, mentoring for these children; and
  • Develop innovative approaches that will enhance parent/child communication, such as the use of tele-visiting, emailing, letter writing, audio recordings, and transportation assistance for in-person visits.

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

Second Chance Act Strengthening Relationships Between Young Fathers, Young Mothers, and Their Children

This grant program supported the implementation and delivery of culturally appropriate and gender-specific transitional services that included one-on-one, group, and peer mentoring services for young fathers and mothers up to age 24 in the criminal justice system. Other services included a broad range of activities, such as providing case management, assessing both the risk factors and personal strengths that affect recidivism, and substance addiction treatment.

For more information, see the most recent OJJDP grant solicitation from 2016.

Second Chance Act Strengthening Families and Children of Incarcerated Parents

This grant program provided funding to nonprofit organizations that delivered services to foster engagement between incarcerated parents, children, and their caregivers, as well as to promote positive youth development. Funds supported the development and expansion of services for children who had a parent incarcerated at a Federal Bureau of Prisons correctional facility. Those efforts included developing or delivering programs that enhanced the life skills of children of incarcerated parents, such as mentoring, case management, counseling, youth coaching, and academic support; and providing services to facilitate communication between incarcerated parents, their children, and the child’s caregiver.

For more information, see the most recent OJJDP grant solicitation from 2015.

Second Chance Act Supporting Latino/a Youth from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community

This grant program provided funding to nonprofit organizations with a demonstrable history of providing community-based reentry programs and services to Latino/a youth. Funds supported mentoring and comprehensive transitional services that emphasized the development of life and parenting skills for Latino/a youth who had been involved with the criminal justice system. Priority consideration was given to organizations that used evidence-based reentry strategies and incorporated an independent evaluation of the project. Deliverables and allowable uses for grant funds included developing strategic partnerships; providing transitional services; collecting robust performance measures of implementation and impact; and promoting holistic approaches to reentry, such as family and community engagement and educational opportunities.

For more information, see the most recent OJJDP grant solicitation from 2015.

Second Chance Act Juvenile Mentoring Initiative

This grant program provided funding to state, local, and tribal governments; public universities and colleges; and nonprofit organizations to develop, implement, and expand mentoring programs and transitional services for youth returning to their communities from secure confinement. Grantees integrated best practices into mentoring service models, developed strategies to recruit and retain mentors, assessed the needs of their target population, and developed services and partnerships to address those needs.

For more information, see the most recent OJJDP grant solicitation from 2011.

Current and Past Grantees

OJJDP has awarded 87 grants for mentoring and transitional services for youth or young adults: