The Second Chance Act Youth Offender Reentry Program supports states, local governments, and tribal governments in partnership with interested persons (including Federal corrections and supervision agencies), service providers, and nonprofit organizations to provide comprehensive reentry services for moderate to high-risk youthful offenders before, during, and after release from confinement. Within the context of this initiative, reentry is viewed as an evidence-based process that begins while the offender is still confined and ends with their successful reintegration into the community. Successful reintegration is denoted by no criminal behavior, to include but not be limited to rearrests, at 6-month increments for up to 24 months post-release.
In 2019, priority consideration will be given to grant applications that best:
- Demonstrate a commitment to partner with a local evaluator to identify and analyze data that will enable the grantee to target the intended offender population and serve as a baseline for purposes of the evaluation;
- Demonstrate a focus initiative on geographic areas with a disproportionate population of offenders released from prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities;
- Include input from nonprofit organizations, in any case where relevant input is available and appropriate to the grant application; consultation with crime victims and offenders who are released from prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities; input and coordination with families of offenders; the juvenile justice coordinating council of the region; the reentry coordinating council of the region; or from other interested persons;
- Demonstrate effective case assessment and management abilities in order to provide comprehensive and continuous reentry, including planning for prerelease transitional housing and community release that begins upon admission for juveniles and jail inmates, and, as appropriate, for prison inmates, depending on the length of the sentence;
- Establishing prerelease planning procedures to ensure that the eligibility of an offender for Federal, tribal, or State benefits upon release is established prior to release, subject to any limitations in law, and to ensure that offenders obtain all necessary referrals for reentry services, including assistance identifying and securing suitable housing;
- Delivery of continuous and appropriate mental health services, drug treatment, medical care, job training and placement, educational services, vocational services, and any other service or support needed for reentry;
- Review the process by which the applicant adjudicates violations of parole, probation, or supervision following release from prison, jail, or a juvenile facility, taking into account public safety and the use of graduated, community-based sanctions for minor and technical violations of parole, probation, or supervision (specifically those violations that are not otherwise, and independently, a violation of law);
- Provide for an independent evaluation of reentry programs that include, to the maximum extent possible, random assignment and controlled studies to determine the effectiveness of such programs; or
- Target moderate and high-risk offenders for reentry programs through validated assessment tools; or target offenders with histories of homelessness, substance abuse, or mental illness, including prerelease assessment of the housing status of the offender and behavioral health needs of the offender with clear coordination with mental health, substance abuse, and homelessness services systems to achieve stable and permanent housing outcomes with appropriate support service.
As part of program services within the facility, youth are expected to be screened and assessed for needs and risk of re-offending. Based upon results of risk and needs assessment, it is expected that appropriate community-based program services are identified and coordinated at least 90-days prior to release. During the post-release phase of the reentry program, youth should receive case management services and be connected to evidence-based programming designed to ensure continuity of services and a safe and successful transition from placement to the community. Case management services and evidence-based programming should begin during the pre-release phase.