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National Reentry Week: An Essential Part of Our Mission
Under the Obama Administration, the Department of Justice has taken major steps to make our criminal justice system more fair, more efficient, and more effective at reducing recidivism and helping formerly incarcerated individuals contribute to their communities.  An important part of that task is preparing those who have paid their debt to society for substantive opportunities beyond the prison gates, and addressing obstacles to successful reentry that too many returning citizens encounter. Read more >>

2015 SCA & JMHCP National Conferences
 

 ** Please register by November 16, 2015 ** 

Register for the 2015 Second Chance Act & Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program National Conferences. Conference registration is now open.

These conferences represent a unique opportunity for SCA and JMHCP grant recipients to engage with experts in the field and interact with fellow practitioners from around the country to learn about evidence-based practices and promising approaches to reducing recidivism and improving outcomes for people released from prisons, jails, and juvenile correctional facilities. In special breakout sessions, you’ll learn how to advance your goals and answer challenges that arise throughout the lifecycle of your grant initiative. The SCA conference is mandatory for FY 13, FY14, and FY15 active Second Chance Act grant recipients. The JMHCP conference is mandatory for FY13, FY14, and FY15 active JMHCP grant recipients.

 Register

Second Chance Act, Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Highlighted in House Judiciary Committee Listening Session 
The reauthorization of the Second Chance Act (SCA) was one of several recommendations brought to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s criminal justice reform listening session on June 25, 2015, where members of the House of Representatives were invited to present proposals for criminal justice reform. Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) told the committee that reentry “should be at the forefront of our discussion,” and emphasized the importance of reauthorizing SCA, which became law in 2008.

Second Chance Reauthorization Act Introduced in the Senate 
In an extraordinary display of bipartisan cooperation, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on June 4, 2015 introduced the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, which will expand upon the success of the original SCA by continuing, improving, and consolidating its programs.

Research, Community Supervision Agency Partnership Is Central to Grant Program 
Grantees in the SCA-funded program work “hand-in-hand with research partners to advance the field through the development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative and evidence-based initiatives,” said Juliene James, senior policy advisor at BJA.

National Reentry Resource Center Hosts First of Five Reentry Training Summits for New Grantees 
State and local agencies that were awarded a 2014 SCA Adult Demonstration or Technology Career Training grant sent representatives to New York City in late April 2015 to take part in the first Reentry Training Summit hosted and organized by the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC), a project of the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center.

Department of Justice Announces 78 New Second Chance Act Grantees 
Among the new awards are five $3 million Statewide Recidivism Reduction (SRR) implementation grants, awarded to Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Vermont. These were 5 of 13 states that previously received SRR planning grants, a “race to the top” style of grant program in which state corrections agencies develop strategic plans to reduce statewide recidivism rates. The states with the strongest plans were then chosen to receive implementation funding to execute those plans.

One Year After Launching Key Sentencing Reforms, Attorney General Holder Announces First Drop in Federal Prison Population in More Than Three Decades 
In a speech at the Brennan Center for Justice, Attorney General Eric Holder announced on September 23, 2014 that the federal prison population has dropped by roughly 4,800 inmates since September 2013. This represents the first time the federal inmate population has fallen, rather than risen, over the course of a fiscal year since 1980. “One of the key points underscored by your report…is the need for the Justice Department to direct funding to help move the criminal justice field toward a fuller embrace of science and data. This is something that we – and especially our Office of Justice Programs and Bureau of Justice Assistance – have taken very seriously throughout the Obama Administration. And nowhere are these ideals more fully embodied – or more promisingly realized – than in our Justice Reinvestment Act and Second Chance Act programs,” said Attorney General Holder.

Business Executives and Government Officials Convene at White House 
Moderated by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, “Pathways to Prosperity: How Public and Private Sectors Can Put People with Criminal Records to Work” highlighted corporate willingness to hire those with prior convictions, the public sector’s desire to eliminate obstacles to employment and an overall eagerness to continue the discussion in states across the country.

Improving Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
Members of Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and others met with juvenile justice leaders in Washington, D.C. to discuss two publications released by the CSG Justice Center, which offer state and local governments recommendations to improve outcomes for youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. These publications are supported by BJA and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

Leaders from Across the Nation Convene for the Fourth Annual Second Chance Act Conference 
More than 700 people representing a variety of practitioners in the criminal justice field came together in May 2014 at the Fourth Annual Second Chance Act Conference to share experiences and strategies for improving outcomes for those returning home from incarceration.

Policy and Corrections Leaders Weigh Tactics to Curb Recidivism
Teams of policymakers—including governors’ advisors and corrections agency administrators from 13 states—met in Washington, D.C. to discuss strategies to improve success rates for people released from prison. 

Attorney General Holder Announces President Obama’s Budget Proposes $173 Million for Criminal Justice Reform 
Attorney General Holder announced on March 4, 2014 that President Obama’s FY 2015 Budget proposal for DOJ calls for $173 million in targeted investments for criminal justice reform efforts, including $115 million for the SCA grant program to reduce recidivism and help ex-offenders return to productive lives.

Five-Year Anniversary of the Second Chance Act
April 2013 marked the 5-year anniversary of SCA, the landmark legislation authorizing federal grants to support programs aimed at improving outcomes for people leaving prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities and reducing recidivism.

BJA Director Participates in Congressional Briefing on Second Chance Act
On April 24, 2013, the CSG Justice Center and the National Association of Counties sponsored a congressional staff briefing with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) on SCA. Panelists included BJA Director Denise E. O'Donnell; A.T. Wall, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections; Art Wallenstein, Director of the Montgomery County (MD)Department of Correction and Rehabilitation; Pam Rodriguez, President of Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities; and David D’Amora and Jessica Nickel of the CSG Justice Center. View the highlights or the full briefing.

Children of Incarcerated Parents Web Page Launched 
Youth.gov has launched a new Children of Incarcerated Parents web page, which provides a number of new products, such as the Children of Incarcerated Parents MythBusters series; the Toolkit for Child Welfare Agencies, Federal Prisons, and Residential Reentry Centers; and research-based public education materials developed by Sesame Street®. Youth.gov was created by the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs, which is composed of representatives from 18 federal departments and agencies that support programs and services focusing on youth.

Justice and Health Connect Website Launched
With support from BJA, the Vera Institute of Justice launched the Justice and Health Connect (JH Connect) website, www.jhconnect.org. JH Connect provides a series of resources, with the aim of increasing agencies’ abilities to share data between community health and justice systems in a confidential, legal, and ethical way. The goal is to better serve people with behavioral and other health needs who come into contact with justice systems. 

Attorney General Holder Announces “Smart on Crime” Approach at ABA 2013 Annual Meeting
On August 12, 2015, Attorney General Holder delivered remarks at the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association's House of Delegates. "Today, a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality, and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities. And many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate these problems, rather than alleviate them," said Attorney General Holder.

Attorney General Holder Offers Remarks on Fourth Meeting of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council  
April 26, 2013: “The discussions that unfolded at yesterday’s meeting reflect not only the firm commitment that each of our agency partners has made to the council’s comprehensive efforts, but also the significant progress we’ve set in motion to support innovative reentry programs across the country,” said Attorney General Holder.

Justice Department Announces $58 Million to Improve Reentry Outcomes 
On October 1, 2012, Attorney General Holder announced $58 million in Second Chance Act grant funding to reduce recidivism, provide reentry services, conduct research, and evaluate the impact of reentry programs. Attorney General Holder also highlighted the department’s efforts to support research and evidence-based practices and its work with state departments of correction to set recidivism reduction goals.

Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at the National Second Chance Act Conference 
“In recent years, we’ve seen a nationwide transformation in attitudes toward reentry – and a sharp increase in the number of programs focused on prisoner reintegration,” said Attorney General Holder. “Today, in every corner of our country, coalitions of government organizations and community groups are working together to improve reentry outcomes. Our correctional systems now consider reentry planning to be a part of their core functions. And agencies that tackle housing, health, labor, and other issues have begun to see effective reentry as part of their larger mission.”

Attorney General Holder Convenes Federal Reentry Council 
Attorney General Holder convened the second meeting of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council on September 27, 2011 to address ways to ensure those returning from prison become productive, law-abiding citizens. Among the topics discussed were $83 million in Fiscal Year 2011 funding that DOJ will award for SCA grants and other reentry programs as well as the latest in a series of "Reentry Myth Busters," fact sheets intended to educate employers and others about the impact of federal laws on those who are formerly incarcerated and seeking jobs, housing and federal assistance or benefits.

NRRC Adds Local-Level Info to Reentry Service Directories
The National Reentry Resource Center has expanded the Reentry Service Directories to include city and county-led initiatives, adding over 200 local government-led reentry programs.

States Report Reductions in Recidivism
BJA's National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) released "States Report Reductions in Recidivism," a policy brief which highlights a number of states reporting significant reductions in recidivism. The states profiled in the report show significant declines in their 3-year recidivism rates based on data tracking individuals released from prison in 2005 and 2007. NRRC is a project of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, in partnership with the Urban Institute, the Association of State Correctional Administrators, and the American Probation and Parole Association.

Pay for Success
Learn more about Pay for Success, which is being incorporated into several of BJA's FY 2013 Second Chance Act solicitations.

Five-Year Anniversary of the Second Chance Act
This month marks the 5-year anniversary of the Second Chance Act, the landmark legislation authorizing federal grants to support programs aimed at improving outcomes for people leaving prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities and reducing recidivism. Read "A The Second Chance Act: The First Five Years" for more information.

BJA Director Participates in Congressional Briefing on Second Chance Act
On April 24, 2013, the Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) and the National Association of Counties sponsored a congressional staff briefing with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) on the Second Chance Act. Panelists included BJA Director Denise E. O'Donnell; A.T. Wall, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections; Art Wallenstein, Director of the Montgomery County (MD) Department of Correction and Rehabilitation; Pam Rodriguez, President of Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities; and David D’Amora and Jessica Nickel of the CSG Justice Center. View the highlights or the full briefing.

Children of Incarcerated Parents Web Site Launched
FindYouthInfo.gov has launched a new Children of Incarcerated Parents web site, which provides a number of new products, such as the Children of Incarcerated Parents MythBusters series; the Toolkit for Child Welfare Agencies, Federal Prisons, and Residential Reentry Centers; and research-based public education materials developed by Sesame Street®. FindYouthInfo.gov was created by the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP), which is composed of representatives from 18 federal departments and agencies that support programs and services focusing on youth.

Justice and Health Connect Web Site Launched
With support from BJA, the Vera Institute of Justice launched the Justice and Health Connect (JH Connect) web site, www.jhconnect.org. JH Connect provides a series of resources, with the aim of increasing agencies’ abilities to share data between community health and justice systems in a confidential, legal, and ethical way. The goal is to better serve people with behavioral and other health needs who come into contact with justice systems. Read more.

AG Holder Announces “Smart on Crime” Approach at ABA 2013 Annual Meeting
On August 12, Attorney General Eric Holder delivered remarks at the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association's House of Delegates. "Today, a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality, and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities. And many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate these problems, rather than alleviate them," said Attorney General Holder. Read more

Integrated Reentry and Employment Strategies
The Council of State Governments Justice Center, in partnership with BJA and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, with additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor, has released Integrated Reentry and Employment Strategies: Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Job Readiness. This white paper provides a new tool that can be used as a starting point for cross-systems collaborations to reduce reincarceration and unemployment among adults with criminal histories.

Reentry Matters: Strategies and Successes
With support from BJA, the Council of State Governments Justice Center released Reentry Matters: Strategies and Successes of Second Chance Act Grantees Across the United States. This publication highlights reentry programs which focus on areas vital to reintegration back into the community, including employment, education, mentoring, and substance abuse and mental health treatment.

What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse Adds Education & Employment Findings
The What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse now includes new and updated research findings on the role of employment and education programs in improving reentry outcomes. Having a job is often cited by those exiting incarceration as a key component to a successful transition back into the community. Research supports this notion, indicating that having a job reduces the odds of reoffending. However, the latest findings, now available on the Clearinghouse, suggest that the relationship between employment programs and reentry success is complex. Read more.

Improving Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System
Members of Congress, DOJ, and others met with juvenile justice leaders in Washington, DC to discuss two publications released by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, which offer state and local governments recommendations to improve outcomes for youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. These publications are supported by BJA and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The Second Chance Act authorized the creation of the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC), which provides technical assistance to SCA grantees and the reentry field. The NRRC serves as the primary source of information and guidance in reentry, advancing the use of evidence-based practices and policies and creating a network of practitioners, researchers, and policymakers invested in reducing recidivism.

The NRRC is a project of the Council of State Governments Justice Center and operates in partnership with the Urban Institute, the Association of State Correctional Administrators, the American Probation and Parole Association, the National Association of Counties, and the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. The work of the NRRC is further rooted in partnerships with more than 150 leading nonprofit organizations and service providers in the reentry field.

Visit the NRRC’s website for the latest news, resources, and research on reentry. 



Andre Bethea
Policy Advisor - Corrections
202-353-0583
E-mail: Andre.Bethea@usdoj.gov
www.bja.gov/

Self-Assessment for Employment-Focused Reentry Programs, BJA-Sponsored, January 2019. This resource is designed to help employment-focused reentry programs gauge their current capacity to provide integrated reentry and employment interventions to reduce recidivism and improve employment outcomes.
PDF

Biannual Grantee Feedback Report, April-September 2015: Second Chance Act (SCA) Adult Mentoring Program, BJA-Sponsored, October 2016. This report includes performance data reported by BJA SCA Adult Mentoring Program grant recipients that conducted grant activities from April-September 2015.
PDF

Biannual Grantee Feedback Report, April-September 2015: Second Chance Act (SCA) Family-Based Prisoner Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program, BJA-Sponsored, October 2016. This report includes performance data reported by BJA SCA Family-Based Prisoner Substance use disorder Treatment grant recipients that conducted grant activities from April–September 2015.
PDF

Biannual Grantee Feedback Report, April-September 2015: Second Chance Act (SCA) Reentry Demonstration Program, BJA-Sponsored, October 2016. This report includes performance data reported by BJA SCA Reentry Demonstration grant recipients that conducted grant activities from April–September 2015.
PDF

Biannual Grantee Feedback Report, April-September 2015: Second Chance Act (SCA) State, Local, and Tribal Reentry Courts Program, BJA-Sponsored, October 2016. This report includes performance data reported by BJA SCA State, Local, and Tribal Reentry Courts Program grant recipients that conducted grant activities from April–September 2015.
PDF

Biannual Grantee Feedback Report, April-September 2015: Second Chance Act (SCA) Targeting Adults with Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders, BJA-Sponsored, October 2016. This report includes performance data reported by BJA SCA Co-Occurring Program grant recipients that conducted grant activities from April– September 2015.
PDF

Biannual Grantee Feedback Report, April-September 2015: Second Chance Act (SCA) Technology Careers Program, BJA-Sponsored, October 2016. This report includes performance data reported by SCA Technology Careers Program grant recipients that conducted grant activities from April–September 2015.
PDF

Fact Sheet on Second Chance Act Grant Program Accomplishments: October 2009-March 2015, BJA-Sponsored, September 2015. This fact sheet provides data from BJA's Performance Measurement Tool (PMT) for all seven of BJA's Second Chance Act programs, from their first reports into the PMT (October 2009) through March 2015.
PDF

Reentry Matters: Strategies and Successes of Second Chance Act Grantees Across the United States, This resource highlights the positive impacts Second Chance Act initiatives can have on programs and communities.
PDF

Second Chance Act, BJA-Sponsored, September 2015. This fact sheet provides an overview of the Second Chance Act grant program, which is designed to invest in strategies that reduce recidivism and increase public safety, as well as reduce corrections costs for state and local governments.
PDF

More BJA Publications

AG Announces FY 2012 Funding
On October 1, the Attorney General announced $58 million in Second Chance Act grant funding to reduce recidivism, provide reentry services, conduct research, and evaluate the impact of reentry programs. Read the press release.

FY 2011 Second Chance Act Grant Awards:

FY 2011 Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) Demonstration Field Experiment Grant Awards

View snapshots of Second Chance Program Grantees:

FY 2009 Solicitations:

 

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