Second Chance Act Grantees: Highlights and Successes

Vermont’s Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategy: Highlights and Progress

Following four principles of corrections system improvement—organizational development, use of risk and needs assessments, quality improvement, and data collection and management—states like Vermont participate in SRR in an effort to reduce the likelihood of recidivism for every person under correctional supervision.

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Darius Dennis, Norfolk, Virginia

“I have the motivation to be in control of my own choices—for how I see my future and how I see my children’s future,” Darius Dennis said. “That’s what the program taught me. So it was absolutely the right thing for me at the right time.”

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Byron Davis, Birmingham, Alabama

Byron Davis used the end of his sentence in Limestone Correctional Facility near Huntsville, Alabama, to get ready for his next step: searching for work back home in his community, just outside of Birmingham. He intended to put his conviction for dealing drugs behind him. “I don’t want to go back to that,” Davis said. “But I need to work, to make a living.”

Iowa’s Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategy: Highlights and Progress

Following four principles of corrections system improvement—organizational development, use of risk and needs assessments, quality improvement, and data collection and management—states like Iowa participate in SRR in an effort to reduce the likelihood of recidivism for every person under correctional supervision.

Second Chance Act Grantee Takes Part in New Young Adult Correctional Program

The Middlesex, Massachusetts, Sheriff’s Office opened a new jail unit specifically for young adults this month. Established in partnership with the local nonprofit UTEC and the Vera Institute of Justice, the specialized unit—called People Achieving Change Together (PACT)—seeks to reduce recidivism by offering tailored programming to young people between the ages of 18 and 24 at the Middlesex Jail and House of Correction.

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Britney Stembridge

“The connections through Pathfinders [are] really what made the difference for me,” Steimbridge said. On top of the short-term housing assistance she received, she also credits Pathfinders’ individualized mentoring support with helping her stay on track in recovery.

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Ronald Forbes

A 55-year-old U.S. Army veteran, Ronald Forbes is on the brink of expanding his Oakland, California-based catering company in partnership with his sister, Catherine. Soon, he’ll move the business to a commercial space, but for now he’s practicing his recipes for barbecue chicken, ribs, and his mom’s potato salad at home.

Second Chance Act-Funded Middle Tennessee Rural Reentry Program Highlighted in Grantee Training and Media Coverage

Staff and a program participant of the Middle Tennessee Rural Reentry (MTRR) Program in Franklin County, TN, a 2015 Second Chance Act Technology-Based Career Training grantee, recently offered insights to fellow grantees as part of the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) training event Engaging Local Employers in Promising Practices for Hiring People Who Have Criminal Records.

Second Chance Act Participant Spotlight: Sharon Hadley, Harris County, Texas

When Sharon Hadley arrived at Santa Maria Hostel in July 2012, she had just completed the latest in her decade-long string of sentences for drug-related offenses. “Now that I look back over my life, I can see how the wheels started coming off even before I really knew it,” Hadley said. “I recidivated 13 times. Each incarceration was longer and longer, and I was more and more hopeless.”

Tucson Community Nonprofit Grows with a Change in Housing Programming

As the leaders of Old Pueblo Community Services (OPCS) can attest, the landscape of housing and reentry services is never static. For this nonprofit organization that serves people at risk of homelessness in Pima County, Arizona, the communities they work in, their clients, funding streams, and research into best practices all evolve over time—and OPCS’ leaders recognize the importance of evolving along with that landscape.

New England Conference Highlights Regional Approach to Reentry

The conference, which was hosted by United States attorneys of the six New England Districts—Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine—uplifted the region’s approach to reentry efforts. Rather than focusing on individual locales, service providers, policymakers, and correctional agencies throughout New England collaborate to ensure a unified approach.

Technology Bridges Distances for a Reentry Program in Western Wisconsin

Low recruitment numbers. Poor attendance. Lackluster quarterly reports. These are concerns that burden many nonprofit, community-based outreach programs around the country. For Workforce Connections Inc., an organization that serves people returning to their communities from incarceration in western Wisconsin, these problems were heightened by the rural and semi-rural environments from which the organization draws both participants and volunteers.

RNR Simulation Tool Gives Probation, Parole Officers a Clinical Take on Reentry in Louisiana

People who are returning to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, from two correctional facilities in the state are receiving individualized roadmaps to successful reentry from an unexpected place: the RNR Simulation Tool—a web-based, decision-support system designed in part to assist agencies in determining what types of programming will be most effective in reducing a person’s likelihood of committing another crime.

Vermont DOC Builds Commitment to Restorative Justice

The Vermont DOC organized volunteers from local communities into citizen-based boards, which led, in 1998, to the creation of what are now known across the state as Community Justice Centers (CJCs). Today, there are 20 CJCs in Vermont—one in every county—managed centrally by the Vermont DOC. CJCs provide intensive support services in employment, housing, mentoring, and restitution management for people returning to their communities from incarceration. They rely primarily on volunteers to deliver these services.

Second Chance Act Grantee Achieves Dramatic Results for High-Risk Women

When Toby Jones first meets her clients, she finds that many of them are shocked that someone wants to help them. Jones is the mentoring program director for Family Pathfinders of Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas, where she serves women in Tarrant County Jail’s Intensive Day Treatment program for substance use.

A Second Chance at Recovery for Women in Wilmington, North Carolina

RESET, which is funded by a 2014 Second Chance Act grant, is a six-month program designed specifically for women and implemented through a partnership between a residential reentry center and a nonprofit behavioral health agency. A typical participant in RESET has a co-occurring substance use and mental disorder and a moderate- to high-risk of committing another crime.

With Help from Partners, Iowa Department of Corrections Tackles Statewide Recidivism

Twenty-eight percent of the people released from prison in the State of Iowa in 2010 were back behind bars by 2013, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections’ (IDOC) Iowa Recidivism Report. But, with a grant awarded from the U.S. Department of Justice, the IDOC is leading efforts to drop the state’s recidivism rate by eight percentage points in five years.

Second Chance Act Grantee Work Reflects Pope’s Belief in Rehabilitation

“The timing of the pope’s visit puts the spotlight on the crucial area of reentry as a way of conveying that these people are down, they’re looking for a second chance at life, and we have an opportunity to help them make the most of it, and make our communities safer as a result,” Arn Quakkelaar, executive director of Milwaukee-based nonprofit Brothers and Sisters in Christ Serving.

RIDGE Project Among Grantees at NRRC Intensive Training Summit

The RIDGE Project is today divided into an adult division, a workforce development division, and a youth division. The adult programming begins inside the prison; fathers whose children are younger than 22 and who are within six months from release are eligible.

Connecticut Launches Prison-Based Reentry Center as Part of Statewide Initiative

As part of Governor Dannel Malloy’s Second Chance Society reentry initiative, Connecticut has opened a new reentry center at one of its prisons to help people prepare for their return to the community. At the Cybulski Community Reintegration Center, men who are within 6 to 18 months of their release receive services to address a variety of issues, including employment, housing, parenting, and substance use.

Rikers Program Provides “Green Technology” Job Training, Placements

Working I.T. Out’s job readiness training, which focuses in part on hard skills directly related to job operations and functions, is delivered in partnership with Hostos Community College in the Bronx, while the New York City Department of Education teaches participants essential computer literacy skills. Soft skills training, such as how to talk appropriately with customers and be a team player in the workplace, is provided by STRIVE International.

Reentry Matters: Second Chance Act 10th Anniversary Edition

Reentry Matters cover

The National Reentry Resource Center and the CSG Justice Center released a new edition of Reentry Matters: Strategies and Successes of Second Chance Act Grantees in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Second Chance Act (SCA). Enacted with bipartisan support, SCA helps state, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations in their work to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes among people who have been in the criminal justice system.