Innovations in Reentry Initiative (FY 2021)

The Department of Justice is committed to advancing work that promotes civil rights, increases access to justice, supports crime victims, protects the public from crime and evolving threats, and builds trust between law enforcement and the community.

The FY 2021 Innovations in Reentry Initiative (IRI): Building System Capacity and Testing Reentry Strategies provides state and local jurisdictions and Indian tribes with the resources to identify assets and gaps in their reentry systems and improve their overall approach to reentry.

Objectives and Deliverables

Grantees supported by this grant work with BJA to identify system gaps and then implement improvements to enhance the effectiveness of their reentry system or to implement or enhance a reentry program to reduce recidivism among a specific target population. Projects should propose to meet the following three-phased approach: Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation over the 4-year grant period:

Phase 1: Planning  -  During the planning phase, grantees will have access to up to $75,000 of the grant award (see Federal Award Information section), will be required to participate in technical assistance, and will be required to complete and submit an Action Plan to guide implementation.

  • Deliverable 1: Task Force Review.
    • Engage a reentry task force to examine policies and practices in four capacity areas: data-driven decision making, staff allocation to maximize impact, quality and capacity of community providers to address client needs, and other barriers to successful reentry, such as housing.
    • Engage a third-party evaluator in a research-practitioner partnership throughout the award period.
  • Deliverable 2: Assessment Results and Action Plan.
    • Develop an action plan to address gaps and deficits identified in the assessment.
    • Project can propose either general system improvements to benefit all offenders in reentry or a reentry program focused on reducing recidivism among a target population (minimum 150 over grant period) — specific subset or subsets of reentering offenders — identified through data analysis as having a relatively high recidivism rate, a specific demographic or set of demographics (e.g., age, gender), returning to a particular jurisdiction area where a disproportionate population of offenders will be released from prisons or jails (e.g., specific neighborhood or ZIP code), or who are housed in the same facility prior to release.

Phase 2: Implementation

  • Deliverable 3: Preliminary Process Evaluation Reflecting System Improvements Due at 30 Months.
    • Once a grantee’s Action Plan is approved by BJA, the grantee will proceed to the implementation phase to test strategies for addressing gaps and deficits and implementing this proposed project with the remainder of their grant funds.

Phase 3: Evaluation and Sustainability

  • Deliverable 4: Preliminary Outcome and/or Impact Evaluation Due at 36 Months.
  • Deliverable 5: Final Process Evaluations Due at Grant Closeout, 90 Days After End of Grant Period (51 Months).
    • The goal of this phase is for the grantee to track recidivism and other outcomes defined in the evaluation to assess effectiveness of their project. Recidivism measures must include arrest, conviction, and incarceration. 

For more information, see the most recent BJA grant solicitation.