Friday, October 22, 2010

Second Chance Funding

$110 million funded for reentry and crime reduction programs, as announced by the Department of Justice on October 8, 2010.

Unfortunately, virtually all of these programs will be built on a service-based model rather than one of internal change; a model which has met with sustained failure over several decades, as our post on rehabilitation evaluation reveals.

An excerpt from the DOJ News Release.

“WASHINGTON, D.C. – Speaking at the European Offenders Employment Forum today, Attorney General Eric Holder announced $110 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 funding for the Second Chance Act reentry grants and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. These two efforts focus on reducing recidivism rates and state and local spending on corrections through the use of evidence-based, smart-on-crime approaches implemented by state, local, tribal and non-profit partners. The department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is administering the grants, research, and training and technical assistance.

“Today’s Department of Justice is dedicated to being smart, not only tough, on crime – and our reentry efforts are no exception,” said Attorney General Holder. “It’s vital that we help ensure that people who want to improve our society, as well as their own circumstances, have opportunities to grow, to learn, and to contribute. By joining together, I believe that we can realize our shared vision of safe, thriving communities.”

“According to OJP’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are more than 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States. Ninety-five percent of all people incarcerated today will eventually be released and will return to their communities. The conference, Oct. 7-8 in Washington, D.C., was convened by the National Transitional Jobs Network and the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion to discuss promising practices, policies, and strategies for prisoner reentry.

“We have a responsibility to partner with communities to keep the public safe and to ensure ex-offenders are fully equipped to become productive, law-abiding citizens, ” said Laurie O. Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for OJP, who also spoke at the conference. “This includes supporting community-based programs that are successful, and backed by evidence of effectiveness.”