Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Department of Justice Provides Grants to Support Reentry and Community Safety

In recent weeks, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced several grant opportunities aimed at building safe communities. Using the criminal justice system as an anchor for improving community safety, DOJ recognizes that several programs, strategies and initiatives are required to meet the comprehensive needs of individuals and communities that interact with the criminal justice system. As a result, DOJ has announced grants that target prevention strategies, improvements to the organization and functioning of programs within the justice system, the successful reentry of former offenders in to their communities and comprehensive community-based violence prevention models.

A critical element of any community change initiative, community safety can be approached in several ways. Below you will find a list of some of opportunities that may be of particular interest to communities as they consider how to improve community safety by addressing the needs of residents who may be at risk of entering the criminal justice systems and the needs of former offenders striving to successfully reenter their communities.

For a comprehensive list of DOJ grant opportunities, as well as more detailed grant descriptions, please click here.

Multi-State Mentoring Initiative
According to DOJ, research throughout the last decade has demonstrated the positive effects of mentoring, including its ability to provide youth with strong, positive role models. In an effort to reduce juvenile delinquency and high-risk behaviors among youth, such as alcohol and drug use and truancy, DOJ is providing funding to help mentoring organizations strengthen and/or expand existing programs in at least five states.

Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, including faith-based, community-based and tribal-based organizations that have affiliates or chapters in at least five states and have been in existence for three years. Applicants should provide mentoring services to youth 18 and under who are at risk of juvenile delinquency or who reside in communities that lack mentoring programs.  DOJ anticipates making seven awards of up to $2 million.  Applications are due May 16, 2012. For more information, click here.  

Second Chance Act: Adult Offender Comprehensive Statewide Recidivism Reduction Demonstration Program
According to DOJ, roughly 2.3 million individuals are currently incarcerated and 95% of these individuals will eventually return to their communities. The recidivism reduction programs aims to help communities plan for and build the capacity needed to develop a comprehensive strategy that reduces recidivism by providing high-quality services pre- and post-release to individuals who are post likely to commit crimes upon release. The National Reentry Resource Center will provide training and technical assistance to grantees.

Eligible applicants include state departments of corrections. Awards will be made up to $1 million.  Applications are due May 21, 2012.  For more information, please click here.

Second Change Act: Juvenile Offender Reentry Program for Demonstration Projects
According to DOJ, roughly 71,000 youth reside in juvenile detention centers or jails on any given day. The reentry demonstration program aims to ensure that youth can successfully return to their communities by providing pre- and post-release support services. Funds for this program will be used to determine risk factors in the community that may influence youth recidivism, as well as the development of sustained case management and support services that will reduce a youth’s chances of recidivism. These services may include: education, job placement, mental and physical healthy, family reunification and others.
Eligible applicants include state and local governments. Grant awards are estimated to be $750,000. Applications are due May 14, 2012. For more information please click here.

Smart Probation: Reducing Prison Populations, Saving Money and Creating Safer Communities
According to DOJ, roughly 1 in 48 adults was on probation or parole in 2010. Recognizing that recidivism is high among this population – this population accounts for 65% of prison admissions each year – DOJ has announced the Smart Probation program. Aimed at improving probation success rates and community safety, the Smart Probation program will help state and local governments fund evidence-based programs that will help individuals to successfully comply and complete their probation or parole. Funding should be used to help probation agencies improve supervision strategies and expand collaboration between supervision agencies and law enforcement officials.

Eligible applicants include state and local governments. Awards will be made for up to $500,000 and will be awarded for a 24-month period. Applications are due May 21, 2012.  For more information, please click here.

Community-Based Violence Prevention Demonstration Program
Please see our recent blog post to learn more about this program.

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