Second Chance Act Statewide Recidivism Reduction Program
Andre Bethea of BJA with SRR program coordinators Bridget Letnes, Connie Schutz, Jennifer Parrack, and Beth Skinner.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) designed this program in direct response to the challenges that leaders from all 50 states articulated during a 2011 national forum on reentry and recidivism. The program was created to help executive-branch policymakers and state corrections departments plan and implement systemwide reforms aimed at reducing recidivism.
Objectives and Deliverables
Among the most critical priorities for statewide recidivism reduction (SRR) grant recipients is to implement evidence-based practices and core correctional practices across corrections, probation, and parole. States that receive SRR grants utilize the funds to pursue an intensive, collaborative process that brings the governor’s office, state policymakers, and corrections leaders together to set measurable recidivism-reduction goals and develop practical, data-driven plans to achieve them.
SRR in Practice
Following an intensive and collaborative planning and evaluation process, this grant brings resources to bear that will improve collaboration with various stakeholders across Iowa, advance evidence-based practices, and enhance staff training. This project is designed to be self-sustaining, resulting in long-term recidivism reduction well beyond the project end date.
Unlike grants that support programming for a small subset of the population, the SRR program can empower corrections administrators to impact recidivism statewide through sustainable policy and procedural changes.
The SRR program helped our state analyze the drivers of recidivism and develop a data-driven plan. The investments made through this program can result in better outcomes for people leaving prison and for the communities to which they return.
Beyond the implementation of evidence-based practices, a successful SRR program also involves staff motivation. SRR is about impacting the lives of real people, and that’s what keeps us going. That’s why we do the work that we do.
The SRR program helped Kansas continue to build a statewide recidivism reduction system, with strong emphasis on fidelity, data and evaluation and quality assurance.
System-level change means making lasting modifications to institutional practices. Make sure that [staff] understand that this is a shift in the way that you’re doing your work and [you’re] going to stay with it even after the grant funds go away.
The Statewide Recidivism Reduction Program is supported by the leadership and support of a public-private partnership involving the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance, the American Probation and Parole Association, the National Governor’s Association, and the Association of Correctional Administrators.