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Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative: "GOING HOME"

PROGRAM OVERVIEW 1

UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM 1

BASIC INFORMATION 3
   Program Period 3
   Eligible Applicants 3
   Eligible Activities 3

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS 5
   Step One: Determine the Problems To Be Addressed 5
      Determine the Problems 5
      Analyze the Population 5
   Step Two: Determine the Project's Goals and Objectives 6
   Step Three: Select Target Populations 6
      Juveniles 7
      Adults 7
   Step Four: Develop a Plan To Select High-Risk Offenders. 8
      Select a Target Area 8
      Describe the Selected Population 8
   Step Five: Determine Organizational Capacity and Identify Key Decisionmakers 8
      Describe Organizational Capability 8
      Identify Key Decisionmakers 8
      Formalize Decisionmaker Agreement. 10
   Step Six: Design Each Phase: Operations, Oversight, and Coordination 11
      Making A Plan: Phase One-Protect and Prepare: Institutionally Based Programs 11
      Coming Home: Phase Two-Control and Restore: Community-Based Transition Programs 11
      Staying Home: Phase Three-Responsibility and Productivity:
      Community-Based Long-Term Support 12
   Step Seven: Design Service Delivery Systems for Each Phase 12
      Organize the Transition Team. 12
      Develop a System of Assessing Risk and Needs of Offenders . 13
      Develop a System for Offender Reentry Plans. 13
      Plan for a Continuum of Supervision. 14
      Plan for a Continuity of Services. 15
      Determine Definite Terms and Conditions. 17
   Step Eight: Organize Project Management 17
      Determine Staff Resources. 17
      Develop a Management Plan. 17
      Design an Integrated Transition Management Information System 17
   Step Nine: Develop the Project's Budget 18
      Identify Need for Discretionary Funds. 18
      Federal Funding Strategy 18

EVALUATION AND DOCUMENTATION 18
   Evaluation Requirements 18
   Documenting Implementation 19

APPLICATION FORMAT AND CORRESPONDING FUNDING PRIORITIES 20
   Project Narrative 20
   Budget 21
   Attachments 21
      Attachment A: Resources List 21
      Attachment B: Cross-System Protocols 21
      Attachment C: Memorandums of Agreement 21
      Where To Send Applications 22

SELECTION PROCESS FOR FUNDING APPLICATIONS 22
   Peer Review Committee 22
   Selection Criteria 22

APPLICATION FORMAT AND REQUIREMENTS FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND/OR EVALUATION SERVICES 22
   Selection Process 23

FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR GRANTEES 23
   National Evaluation 23
   Training and Technical Assistance 24

REFERENCES 25

APPENDICES 26
   Appendix A: Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice 26
   Appendix B: National Institute of Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice 30
   Appendix C: U.S. Department of Education 32
   Appendix D: U.S. Department of Labor 34
   Appendix E: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 37
   Appendix F: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 40
   Appendix G: Essential Elements of Reentry Programs 42
   Appendix H: The Three Components of Reentry Programs 43
   Appendix I: Program Goals and Objectives 44
   Appendix J: The Facts 46
   Appendix K: Institutional Models and Approaches 48
   Appendix L: Reentry Models 59
   Appendix M. Involvement of Faith-Based and Community-Based Organizations 61
   Appendix N. Federal Funding Restrictions 62
   Appendix O. Standard Information and Requirements/Forms 63

 

Quick-Start Guide to Using the Online Grants Management System

Applications for this initiative will only be accepted online using the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs' Grant Management System (GMS).

To apply online, you must establish a User ID and password with GMS, and you must receive e-mail confirmation that you are eligible to apply for funding. You may use User IDs and passwords from previous applications.

To begin the process:

1. Visit the OJP web site and download the online GMS Applicant Procedures Handbook at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/fundopps.htm.

The handbook has been updated since you last used GMS.

2. Select "Logon to the Grants Management System (GMS)."

3. Click on: "New User? Register Here."

4. Follow the onscreen instructions to register with the GMS system.

You will be asked to identify both a contact person (yourself) and an authorized representative for your agency. The latter should be the person with signature authority for the agency (i.e., the person who would sign an application or a grant award document).

5. After you complete the registration process, the information will be transmitted to the Corrections Program Office for verification. You will receive e-mail confirmation that you are eligible to apply for funding. Applications will not be accepted until this confirmation has been issued.

6. Please note that the names of the attachments to be included with your online submission have been updated. The revised names are: Budget Detail Worksheet (which includes your budget narrative), Program Narrative, and Other Program Attachments. Please call the GMS Help Desk if you have any questions about the attachments.

If you have any questions about GMS or need assistance, contact the GMS Help Desk at (888) 549-9901.

Application Checklist

This checklist is provided as a guide for making sure your submission is complete. Please organize your application following the order of items on the checklist. Failure to submit any of the checklist items by the application deadline may disqualify your application from consideration for funding.

  • Standard Form (SF) 424; Assurances; Certifications Regarding Lobbying; Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters; and Drug-Free Workplace Requirements. Applicants will complete the SF-424 online and will certify compliance with, or acceptance of, required certifications and assurances: (1) General Assurances; (2) Certification Regarding Lobbying; Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters; and (3) Drug Free Workplace Requirements. The text of all certifications and assurances is included in Appendix O of this document. These assurances are accepted online through the GMS system.
  • Project Abstract. Submit a summary of project narrative. Abstract may not exceed two, double-spaced pages, using 12-point standard type.
  • Project Narrative. Submit a narrative that describes your reentry program in detail and illustrates how your program meets the requirements of this program. Narratives are not to exceed 30 double-spaced pages, using 12-point standard type and one-inch margins. The narrative must include the applicant's:
    • Problems to be Addressed
    • Project's Goals and Objectives
    • Target Population
    • Organizational Capacity
    • Program Design and Management
  • Narrative Attachments. Submit the following appendices to the Program Narrative:
    • Resource List
    • Cross-System Protocols
    • Memorandum of Agreement (This document may not be submitted on-line, as the signatures of participating agencies are required. The Agreement may be faxed to (202) 307-2093. Applicants must reference their application number (assigned in GMS) on each page of the faxed document.
  • Budget Material. Submit a Budget Detail Worksheet and Budget Narrative. A sample Worksheet is included in the solicitation's Appendix O.
  • Civil Rights Information. Applicants must submit the name and contact information of the person responsible for ensuring compliance with all civil rights related matters. An information sheet is included in the solicitation's Appendix.

Deadline: May 15, 2002

Questions: For questions regarding GMS, call the GMS hotline at (888) 549-9901.

For questions regarding the program or application content, contact the U.S. Department of Justice Response Center at 1-800-421-6770, or visit the Reentry Website at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/reentry/funding.htm.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The reentry of serious, high-risk offenders into communities across the country has long been the source of violent crime in the United States. As more than 630,000 offenders are released from prison every year, the problem of their recidivism has become a crisis that affects all parts of a community. For years, innovative professionals at the State and local levels have worked to find solutions that will transition offenders back into communities in ways that help to ensure their success. The goal of this Initiative is to build on those innovative ideas that reduce the recidivism of these offenders and, thus, reduce the overall amount of violent and other serious crime that is inflicted on our society. This program encourages citizens, government agencies, social service organizations, and community based organizations, such as faith-based organizations, to make this offender population their highest priority. These groups should utilize existing resources to collaborate on programs that will protect their communities by providing for the reentry of offenders. These agencies are uniquely qualified for this endeavor because they have the requisite expertise, and they control and manage the resources necessary to address the problem.

To achieve this goal, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), and the National Institute of Corrections, two agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice, have developed this solicitation for the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative through collaboration with and support of the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Housing and Urban Development (see Appendices A-F for information regarding each agency). The U.S. Department of Labor, in particular, brought considerable expertise to this effort as they already provide reentry programming for offenders. This solicitation presents a new way of doing business for federal, state, and local agencies. Instead of focusing this Initiative on a competition for a limited amount of discretionary funds, the federal partners are coming together to help state and local agencies navigate the complex field of existing state formula and block grants and to assist them in accessing, redeploying, and leveraging those resources to support all components of a comprehensive reentry program. Although some grants in limited amounts will be awarded, the main focus of this Initiative is not "new money." Instead, the federal partners are identifying funds from their respective agencies that are already available to state and local agencies for the purposes outlined in the Initiative. The result will be that any community can participate in this Reentry Initiative, not just "successful applicants," and the programs will be sustainable and will not rely on continued discretionary awards.

UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM

"Going Home" is what most adult and juvenile offenders incarcerated in training schools or prison facilities focus on from the time they enter until the day they leave. However, few of these offenders, many of whom have committed serious and/or violent offenses have a home to which they can go, and many will not stay home because they reoffend and return to prison at alarming rates. Fewer than half of all released offenders stay out of trouble for at least 3 years after their release from prison, and many of these offenders commit serious and/or violent offenses while under parole supervision. This is a significant problem because there were more than 652,000 adult offenders under State parole supervision across the country at yearend 2000 (Hughes, Beck, and Wilson, 2001).

The statistics regarding juvenile offenders present a similar picture. Juveniles were involved in 16 percent of all violent crime1 arrests and 32 percent of all property crime2 arrests in 1999. Based on OJP's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP's) Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (Sickmund, 2000), an estimated 100,000 youth are released from secure and residential facilities every year and because the length of incarceration for juveniles is shorter than for adults, a relatively greater percentage of juveniles return to the community each year. In addition, research indicates that a small percentage of juvenile offenders commit the overwhelming majority of juvenile crime.

Some correctional officials - under pressure to cut costs - have curtailed prison programs and services that could ameliorate factors that place inmates at higher risk of recidivism after release. Tougher sentencing laws have, in some cases, removed or limited inmates' incentives to enter available treatment programs. Long, fixed prison terms for serious offenders can sometimes have the perverse effect of returning the most risky offenders to the community with the least control and supervision. There is sometimes little continuity between institutional programs and activities, offenders' reentry plans, and the supervision and services they receive once released.

Communities of law-abiding citizens are victimized by these offenders, making these communities less safe, less desirable places to live. Research has shown that criminal behavior can be predicted for individual offenders on the basis of certain factors3. Some factors, such as criminal history, are static and unchangeable. Others, such as substance abuse, antisocial attitudes, and antisocial associates, are dynamic and changeable. With proper assessment of these factors, researchers and practitioners can classify groups of offenders according to their relative likelihood of committing new offenses with as much as 80 percent accuracy. Application of the risk principle requires matching levels or intensity of treatment/supervision with the risk levels of offenders. High-risk offenders require intensive interventions to reduce recidivism. (Gendreau and Andrews, 1990). Since the return of these high-risk adult and juvenile offenders is imminent, corrections, law enforcement, and community service agencies should collaborate to monitor offenders while assisting them in the development and implementation of a concrete, specific reentry plan. Unless communities do this, they will continue to be victimized by these offenders.

BASIC INFORMATION

Program Period

Discretionary grant funds, evaluation, and technical assistance will be available for this project for a 3-year program period. Any supplemental funding will depend on grantee performance, availability of funds, and other criteria established at the time of the initial award. The applications will be due on May 15, 2002, and awards will be made by June 30, 2002. The anticipated project start date is July 1, 2002.

The goal of the program is to fund at least one program in each state (which includes all 50 of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands). Each site would receive approximately $500,000-$2,000,000 depending on the following:

  • Number of offenders to be served by the program.
  • Number of target populations the program will include (i.e., juvenile and adult).
  • How many communities will be partnering with a state department of corrections or juvenile department of corrections.

Note: The federal partners have collaborated to design a reentry web site that includes a wide variety of information on promising practices, federal funding initiatives, and other helpful resources in designing a reentry program for offenders at high risk of recidivism. This site is available to anyone interested in such programs whether they choose to apply for participation in this Initiative or not. It can be found at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/reentry/.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants for this program are state or local units of government that represent a partnership between institutional and community corrections agencies. For adults, the partnership must include the state department of corrections (DOC) and at least one local community agency. For juveniles, the partnership must include the state juvenile department of corrections and a local agency involved in the provision of services and/or supervision of juveniles returning from these facilities.

Eligible Activities

Promising reentry programs include all three components as described in Appendix H:

  • Phase One - Institutionally Based Programs.
  • Phase Two - Community-Based Transition Programs.
  • Phase Three - Community-Based Long-Term Support.

It is the goal of the federal partners to identify and enhance existing reentry programs. Your application should demonstrate how your program addresses all of these components. At a minimum, you should begin the implementation of Phase One and Phase Two and have a plan for Phase Three by July 2002.

There are two ways to participate in this Reentry Initiative:

1. Apply for funding to fill gaps in an existing, comprehensive reentry program. Discretionary grant funding under this Initiative will be provided only to fill gaps that would otherwise be unmet by existing and available federal, state, and local resources. All reentry programs that seek funding must demonstrate in their application a full 3-component program with descriptions of either how the needs are being met by existing federal, state, and local resources or why and how grant funds will fill the gaps. To assist applicants in identifying resources that target the institutional and community components of their reentry programs, the federal partners have collaborated to provide online information regarding funding resources from their respective agencies. This information is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/reentry/ or by contacting the U.S. Department of Justice Response Center at 1-800-421-6770.

The discretionary funding made available through this Initiative is to support programs that will focus resources on working with juvenile and/or adult offenders deemed likely, based on the results of risk assessment instruments, to commit crimes after their release from correctional institutions. The goal is to provide authorities with effective and appropriate assessment instruments, infrastructures, and resources to develop model reentry programs that begin in prisons, training schools, and other correctional institutions and continue throughout the offender's transition to and stabilization in the community. These programs will provide for the development and implementation of reentry plans that address the issues that will impact an offender's opportunity to make a successful transition to the community. These issues include, but are not limited to, the following: family relationships, housing, employment, education, mentoring support, treatment, and life skills. Examples of program elements that applicants may choose to provide in an offender's reentry plan to address these issues are: institutional readiness programs, institutional and community assessment centers, reentry courts, supervised or electronically monitored boarding houses, community-based mentoring programs including faith-based programs, and community corrections centers. It is important to stress that discretionary funding made available through this Initiative must be used to fund aspects or components of the program for which other resources do not exist.

Applicants for discretionary grant funds are also eligible to receive technical assistance provided by the federal partners through this Initiative and will be expected to participate in evaluation of this Initiative.

2. Develop and fund your own comprehensive reentry program with federal technical assistance and/or evaluation services. States or communities may find that they have sufficient resources that can be leveraged, accessed, and/or redeployed to support a comprehensive reentry program in its entirety. Under this Initiative, such communities may choose to apply only for technical assistance from the federal partners and may also apply to or be asked to participate in the federal evaluation. While applicants must still demonstrate that they have designed a comprehensive program with the required elements, the abbreviated application process is included in the Application Format and Requirements Section of this solicitation.

Jurisdictions that are not prepared to submit an application for participation in the Initiative this year are encouraged to utilize the online resources to begin development of their programs. In addition, if resources are available, these jurisdictions may qualify for additional technical assistance to develop and begin implementation of their programs.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

There are overall steps to developing your reentry program and application. While this solicitation includes a variety of requirements for eligible programs, the federal partners recognize that state and local communities may face legal challenges in addressing these elements. Therefore, if state or local laws or conditions require deviation from a required element, applicants may propose alternatives that achieve the same end. However, any proposed alternatives must include justification as to how they are consistent with the overall purpose of the solicitation.

Each step in developing your program is outlined below.

Step One: Determine the Problems to Be Addressed

Before beginning to design the program, determine the specific problems to be addressed so that federal, state, and local funding and resources can be targeted most effectively.

Determine the problems. Using relevant crime patterns, recidivism studies, juvenile and adult justice system issues (e.g., size of parole caseloads, law enforcement involvement, etc.) and other information, determine the specific problems the applicant wishes to address through this application. Data can be obtained from the Bureau of Justice Statistics Web site at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/.

Analyze the Population. The applicant should analyze the population possibly eligible for the program to determine how to narrow it to implement the program most effectively and serve the highest risk population. For example, this broad analysis will help determine the target community to partner with the state DOC or target a specific sector within a city.

The applicant should determine, given an analysis of the eligible population and available resources, how to define the population to target as required in Step 3 below. This analysis should include:

  • An analysis of the number of adult and/or juvenile offenders who have been assessed to pose a high risk of recidivism and who would be eligible for the program.
  • An analysis of how many of these eligible offenders can be served.
  • Identification of barriers to serving adult and/or juvenile serious and violent offenders and appropriate solutions.
  • The number of eligible persons leaving each institution every year and where they go (by ZIP code or other similar data).

Step Two: Determine the Project's Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative are outlined in Appendix I. Applicants must provide a clear discussion of their project's goals and objectives and how they are compatible with and relate to the goals and objectives of the overall Initiative. Applicants should also demonstrate how these goals relate to the problems, needs, resources, and capabilities of their communities and should identify specific goals and objectives that are measurable and attainable within the time frames of the Initiative. The project should be designed to specifically meet these performance objectives.

Step Three: Select Target Populations

The target population for this Initiative is the juvenile and/or adult offender returning from commitment in a state training school, juvenile or adult correctional facility, or, where appropriate, a residential treatment facility who is considered to be a high risk for recidivism4. (See Appendix K for information about validated risk assessment instruments.) Those in the target population can voluntarily participate in the program in exchange for early release on parole or some other arrangement as an incentive. The plan should state clearly the consequences participating offenders face if they fail to meet all elements of the program. (These consequences may include termination from the program, return to incarceration, and/or potentially additional time added to the period of incarceration.)

Given the design of this Reentry Initiative, it is important that participating offenders are released under some form of criminal justice supervision. Applicants may find that their highest risk offenders are not being released early on parole or some other form of supervised release but are serving their entire sentence of incarceration. These applicants are encouraged to work with the appropriate authorities within their respective jurisdictions to develop policies and procedures for enabling these offenders to participate in a reentry program so that they may be closely monitored upon their release from incarceration.

Select one or more of the following groups of serious, high-risk offenders. It is important to note that we encourage applicants to focus on the juvenile and young adult populations because those groups have been shown to be the most predatory of the offender-age populations and should, therefore, be the focus of any program striving to reduce serious crime.

Juveniles. The main eligible age range for this category is 14 to 17 years. However, for those states in which juvenile court jurisdiction or supervision of juvenile serious, high-risk violent offenders extends beyond the age of 18 (21 to 24 in some states) applicants may include these individuals in their programs. These individuals must fall under the jurisdiction and supervision of the juvenile court, and targeted serious, high-risk offenders must be returning from commitment to the community.

Adults. There are two eligible categories for adult serious, high-risk offenders:

  • Young Adults (ages 18 to 24). (Note: Offenders ages 18B21 could still be eligible for youth services under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), if appropriate.
  • Adults (ages 25 to 35).

Although the federal partners seek applicants who will serve these specific populations of serious, high-risk or violent offenders, some latitude exists in selecting the target population. Particularly in large urban areas where the population of serious, high-risk offenders may become large, applicants may select a specific sector, district, or neighborhood to focus efforts. Conversely, in smaller or rural communities, applicants may combine resources and enter into a regional coalition to secure services for an adequate number of serious and violent offenders. Regardless of the size of the offender population to be served, applicants must recognize that one of the priorities of this Initiative is to provide services to serious, high-risk offenders who face multiple challenges to reentering their communities. With that in mind, applicants must demonstrate that the population they propose to target poses a risk to community safety and faces barriers to becoming productive, responsible, and law-abiding citizens; obtaining and retaining long-term employment; maintaining stable residences; successfully addressing substance abuse issues and mental health needs; achieving educational success; and maintaining family and support relationships.

Note: Subject to funding availability, separate solicitations will be developed for juvenile and adult sex offenders and Native American offenders.

Step Four: Develop a Plan To Select High-Risk Offenders.

Applicants must submit a plan for how they will select the targeted offenders at high risk of committing serious crime. Any serious, high-risk offender who fits the criteria for the target population but is not admitted to the program should be referred to other services.

Select a Target Area. Geographic target areas may be broad or can be narrowed to specific areas. For example, applicants may choose to focus on adult offenders, ages 18 to 25, who have been determined to be the greatest risk of committing serious and violent offenses and are returning to a specific geographic area. This geographic area could be statewide or it could be one quadrant of a city.

Applicants should base target area decisions on the analyses of historical and current quantifiable data, such as demographics; crime patterns and mapping; intake mapping; release mapping; release mechanisms; prior remedial efforts and failure rates; the number and types of serious, high-risk offenders; and other measurable data.

Describe the Selected Population. Applicants must detail the characteristics of the population to be served and demonstrate how the interventions proposed will address the risks they pose to the community. Research demonstrating that the interventions are appropriate and likely to be successful should be cited if available. Great importance should be placed on providing efficient and cost-effective supervision and services to the target population. Selected participants must be determined to be at high risk for committing serious and violent crimes upon release and should be able to complete all Phases of the program. Applicants must describe the risk assessment instruments that will be used to select the population of offenders to be served, detail how this instrument has been validated (or how it is known to be effective), and what high-risk behaviors it can predict. For example, high-risk offenders should not be eligible to participate if detainers have been lodged against them by other criminal justice agencies which would not permit their return to the community when they are released.

Step Five: Determine Organizational Capacity and Identify Key Decisionmakers

Describe Organization's Capability. Provide a brief overview of the lead agency's knowledge and experience in issues related to the selected target population. In addition, the applicant should demonstrate specific and detailed experience in leading collaborative, communitywide efforts involving systems change related to workforce development, education, housing, substance abuse, or mental health treatment. The applicant must demonstrate a history consistent with the size and scope of this Initiative. The applicant should also provide evidence of experience in strategic planning and management of staff in a collaborative environment. Experience leveraging state, local, tribal, or other resources is required. Applicants should demonstrate the ability and willingness to participate and cooperate in a comprehensive evaluation of this demonstration Initiative at both the national and local level for purposes of learning and the advancement of strategies.

Identify Key Decisionmakers. Decisionmakers are those individuals in their respective agencies who have the authority, responsibility, and control of resources that will support the reentry program. Based on their target population(s), applicant communities must have established and describe in their application an appropriate partnership that includes all the relevant decisionmakers. The applicant community must organize the decisionmakers so they will be instrumental to the project's implementation. The decisionmakers must be involved with decisionmaking throughout the process, and this authority should not be diminished through the appointment of delegates or representatives of the decisionmaker organizations, groups, and agencies. The decisionmaker group should advise the project on all aspects of implementation and operation.

In addition to the government agencies and typical service providers, the reentry program should include victims of crime, participating offenders' families, and community-based organizations including faith-based organizations. The rights and privacy of victims must be respected, and programs must be sensitive to the needs of victims. Appropriate victim and community notification should occur when these offenders return to the community. One option to address victims' rights is to include a restorative justice component to the program. Family relationships can determine whether an offender's reentry will succeed or fail. Programs should involve family members whenever it is practical and appropriate. Community-based organizations should be included throughout the reentry process. Communities know and trust these types of programs, which will enhance the community's acceptance of them in the reentry program. There should be a planned involvement throughout incarceration and continuing into community reintegration. This involvement is particularly important for those organizations providing services and outreach in the participating offender's immediate neighborhood or community. Applicants are required to identify how such organizations are currently involved in existing reentry strategies and, if they are not presently included, what strategies will be employed to secure involvement. Applicants are reminded that the organizations are identified as key decisionmakers and, therefore, their participation is required. Community-based organizations that include faith-based groups can provide a wide variety of services including mentoring, tutoring, and counseling both within the community and within correctional settings.

Describe each decisionmaker's role in the reentry strategy and the ability and willingness on the part of the key leaders to leverage, redeploy, and access existing resources; create new sources of support; make policy and procedural changes; and sustain activities. The application must describe in detail the vision for ensuring links and integration at the direct service level by all involved agencies to provide a coordinated system of services. Include a description of the coordination mechanisms, both human and technological, such as interagency staffing groups, integrated case management systems, management information systems, joint intake and assessment procedures, referrals, etc.

If the decisionmakers identified below are not able or willing to participate, applicants should provide a justification. Similarly, if applicants propose different decisionmakers based on unique issues in their jurisdiction, provide a justification.

State Decisionmakers. Where applicable, it is anticipated that state applicants will include the following individuals in their partnership:

  • Head of the state adult or juvenile correctional agency.
  • Head of the state parole board.
  • Head of the state substance abuse treatment agency.
  • Head of the state mental health agency.
  • Head of the state education agency.
  • Head of the state agency or department charged with criminal justice system evaluations or an appropriate evaluator.
  • Head of the state Workforce Investment Board.
  • Head of the state police.
  • Heads of any faith-based, community-based, or other service organizations involved.

Local Decisionmakers. Where applicable, it is anticipated that local applicants will include the following individuals in their partnership:

  • Chief elected official(s) in area(s) being served.
  • Chief judge(s) of local community judiciary, where applicable.
  • Head of local community corrections agency.
  • Head of local parole agency, where applicable.
  • Chief law-enforcement officer(s) representing the local community(s).
  • Chair of the local Workforce Investment Board.
  • Head of local substance abuse agency.
  • Head of local mental health agency.
  • Head of local education agency.
  • School superintendent and/or official of a local college, as appropriate to the target population.
  • Head of local evaluation agency or an appropriate evaluator.
  • Heads of local faith-based and community-based organizations to be involved.

All direct service providers, including the applicant, must comply with state and local licensing, accreditation, and certification requirements. Copies of the applicant's license, accreditation, and certification documentation must be included in the application, if applicable.

Formalize Decisionmaker Agreement. Applicants must enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by all the key decisionmakers. There can be separate local and state MOAs if they are interlocking. The MOA(s) should include specifics about the collection of data and sharing of information, the allocation of resources, and the management of the program. Applicants who have completed the MOA at the time of submission of the application will be given extra consideration. Whether or not an official MOA is signed and included with the application, the key partners must be identified and on board at the time of application submission.

If no MOA is included with an application, this requirement will be placed on any grant award as a special condition that must be completed before the release of any funds.

Step Six: Design Each Phase: Operations, Oversight, and Coordination

Applications must explain how the program will addresses all three components of a comprehensive reentry program. The three separate but critically linked components include:

Making a Plan: Phase One - Protect and Prepare: Institutionally-Based Programs. Each applicant community must work in partnership with the state adult and/or juvenile department of corrections to develop both Phase One and Phase Two of the reentry program. These programs will be implemented in prisons, boot camps, state training schools, and any other correctional institution. The programs will utilize best practices and, where available, existing federal and state-funded programs to provide a wide range of services that include, but are not limited to: education, treatment, job training and placement, parenting, batterer intervention programs, family counseling5, and mentoring. Because the full risk assessment of many inmates will identify the need for treatment and educational/vocational services, the period of incarceration presents a compelling opportunity for participation in substance abuse and mental health interventions, the development of fundamental educational and life skills, and the attainment of critical credentials such as GED certificates. (See Appendix K for the National Institute of Corrections' recommendations for classification and assessment of offenders and for examples of institutional models of readiness programs.) Many federal programs, such as the U.S. Department of Education's Grants to States for the Workplace and Community Transition Training for Incarcerated Youth Offenders Program, provide services while inmates are incarcerated as well as in the year following release. Programs that provide this type of continuum of services offer offenders the opportunity to make a more seamless transition back into the community.

Coming Home: Phase Two - Control and Restore: Community-Based Transition Programs. These programs will target resources toward working with juvenile and adult offenders prior to their release from correctional institutions and would provide authorities with effective and appropriate assessment instruments and resources to develop a reentry plan that will address the offender's family, housing, employment/education, mentoring support, treatment, and other identified areas that would impact the probability of recidivism.

Each applicant community must identify a community reentry authority. One such approach is a judge-centered reentry court model, but, this is not the only possible model. (See Appendix L for examples of Reentry Models.) This reentry authority must have the ability to impose conditions of a reentry plan, and graduated sanctions and/or and revocation of release if an offender fails to comply with those conditions.

The authority needs to work collaboratively with corrections officials in the institution to prepare the offender for reentry. The authority must include the ability to order and monitor the offender's participation and cooperation with supervision expectations, treatment programs, job skills, work readiness opportunities, education, and victim or community restitution efforts. The authority must also actively involve support systems such as family and community-based organizations and collaborate with social service agencies, community supervision authorities, law enforcement, and other programs based in the offender's neighborhood to address issues identified in the reentry plan. These agencies all have a responsibility to participate in this program because they all are part of the community and, therefore, own part of the problem of serious and violent crime and its effect on that community.

Staying Home: Phase Three - Responsibility and Productivity: Community-Based Long-Term Support. These programs will target resources at establishing networks of support for offenders that will be sustained in the absence of criminal justice supervision and after the reentry plan has been successfully implemented. Activities should include aftercare treatment services, continuation of community-based mentoring programs that promote social relationships, and linkages to education and community resources that could be accessed as needs arise.

Step Seven: Design Service Delivery Systems for Each Phase

The delivery of services and supervision should be nearly seamless from institution to community. If drug treatment is warranted during commitment, then it should be linked to drug treatment in the community; job training and placement should be linked to work outside; and so forth. In other words, mirror support systems should be established so that the participating offender can continue seamlessly in treatment after release.

Organize the Transition Team. A transition team comprising treatment providers, corrections staff, law enforcement, employment trainers, and mentors must be assigned to the offender to assist with the development, monitoring, and enforcement of the reentry plan that will be employed upon release from the institution.

When designing the transition team, applicants should:

  • Determine what case management services already exist and how they should be changed or enhanced to meet the needs of the program.
  • Increase staffing levels to provide the intensity and quality of case management needed for the offenders in the program.
  • Determine whether they will use an existing organizational structure to provide the case management services or develop a separate case-management unit reporting to the project director.
  • Expand capacity by employing sufficient new staff to handle system development and local sustainability without supplanting existing resources.
  • Develop any needed staff training or development, including cross-agency training.
  • Determine how to include the offender and his or her support system in the reentry plan.
  • Determine the method of conducting the assessments (i.e, risk of recidivism, educational, vocational, mental health, and substance abuse) on which the reentry plan will be based.

Transition team management will begin when the offender's reentry plan is developed and will continue until the offender leaves the program. Transition team membership may change as the focus of reentry moves from adjudication/sentencing through the institution and back to the community and as different needs are identified. This type of team case management is essential for ensuring continuity in the provision of appropriate services and supervision, particularly as changes in the offender's needs and behavior move him or her along the continuum of services.

One member of the team should serve as the case lead for each offender to coordinate the offender's reentry plan and ensure that the offender complies with goals and objectives. Develop a System of Assessing Risk and Needs of Offenders. An assessment of the offender's needs for housing and employment-related services, substance abuse treatment, and mental health care must be conducted well before his or her release from commitment. An individualized risk assessment also must be completed to categorize an offender's likelihood of recidivism and level of risk to the community and to identify the appropriate level of community surveillance and support required. Comprehensive assessment is needed to ensure these offenders are placed at appropriate levels of supervision and receive appropriate services. Reassessments should be conducted regularly to measure progress and determine whether services are working or the offender's needs have changed. (See Appendix K.)

All assessments should be individualized and appropriate to the offender's ethnicity, cultural background, gender, and individual differences.

Develop a System for Offender Reentry Plans. Reentry planning ideally should begin at the time of commitment or as soon after confinement as practical to ensure that offenders receive the programs and services necessary for a smooth transition. At a minimum, reentry planning and programming should begin 1 year prior to an offender's release. Case managers in the facilities must work with community-based service providers and the offender to develop a reentry plan that ensures critical support services are provided during and after confinement. In addition to ensuring that core self-sufficiency issues such as employment, housing, education, and health-related issues are addressed, case managers should work with offenders to discuss issues regarding family, parenting, and other fundamental life-maintenance issues.

All offenders selected to participate in the program should begin Phase I of their reentry plan while incarcerated. The plan should be based on a full assessment to include risk of recidivism, developed jointly with the offender and the transition team, and coordinated by the case leader. After the offender's release from commitment, the transition team should regularly update the reentry plan. The offender should be actively involved in all aspects of the plan and should share accountability for its success with the team. Team professionals provide appropriate supervision and services in a timely fashion, and the offender is responsible for complying with all terms of the plan. The plan will remain in effect for as long as the offender participates in the program.

While a Reentry Program must make all of the following services available for offenders, an individualized reentry plan could include any or all of the following elements depending on the results of full diagnostic and risk assessments:

  • Substance abuse treatment/drug testing.
  • Mental health treatment.
  • Housing.
  • Educational services.
  • Batterer intervention programs to address intimate and domestic violence.
  • Training to improve job skills, and help gaining and maintaining employment or other means of support. (See Appendix E for information on workforce programs.)
  • Restitution mechanism for the community at large, such as a restorative justice plan that includes community service and responding to victims' concerns, when appropriate.
  • Aftercare programs, including peer support groups following initial treatment.
  • Counseling on avoidance of criminal behavior and behavior triggers.
  • Consequences of noncompliance with terms of the plan.
  • Involvement of family and other natural support systems, including reunification plans when appropriate.

Plan for a Continuum of Supervision. When coordinated properly through case management, supervision will become synergistic, increasing the chances of positive outcomes for offenders. Effective coordination means that supervision is continuous, when needed, and in the quantities and types necessary. For example, at least 1 year of followup is needed to ensure success and should be planned well in advance. Graduated levels of supervision should be employed that begin with intensive supervision and highly structured and monitored activities and step down through less intensive supervision levels as the offender maintains compliance with conditions of release. Coordinated case management would make this possible.

The following are examples of supervision practices and services the applicant may use:

  • Surveillance.
  • Monitoring.
  • Sanctions.
  • Incentives.

Possible supervision strategies include enhanced community supervision partnerships in which police, probation or parole officers, and other case managers working in a targeted neighborhood have access to information about the offender's reentry status, including the case management plan and related information on his or her community adjustment. Supervision is intensified or reduced based on the offender's behavior.

The authority must be kept informed by the team in order to impose safety-specific conditions of release, such as curfews, restraining orders, "live at" orders, civil protection orders, and drug testing. The authority must also have established liaisons between law enforcement and the community so that illegal behavior is reported and the focus remains on behavior modification and economic stability rather than solely on compliance. This requires a long-range view of success and the judicious use of graduated sanctions and incentives. Appropriate low-level sanctions that can be swiftly and predictably applied should be developed along with incentives that will acknowledge successes throughout the reentry process. Intermediate responses to technical violations of supervision and minor offenses should help reduce the use of detention as a sanction.

Plan for a Continuity of Services. As with supervision, the continuum of services should be coordinated by the case management team and be as near to seamless as possible from commitment to community. The team, the institution, the authority, and the community supervision providers must work jointly to ensure access and delivery of services is provided. The following items are critical components of these services that must be made available. The applicant must describe in the program narrative how these services are currently being coordinated, how they will be enhanced, and what gaps exist with the delivery of these services.

  • Restitution and Community Service. All reentry programs must include a component that addresses the need for the offender to do community service or provide restitution to the victim or community. Applicants must provide a plan to show how the program will implement and ensure compliance with such programs.
  • Educational Services. Applicants must provide for comprehensive educational services that include, but are not limited to, special education, vocational rehabilitation, remedial education, basic education skills, and testing. These services should be coordinated throughout the reentry process. Applicants should include descriptions of current educational approaches as well as the gaps in providing services to offenders in the institutions and continuing through reentry. (See Appendix C for more information about relevant U.S. Department of Education programs.)
  • Housing. Applicants must provide a plan for providing or developing transitional housing (e.g., a boarding house, etc.) for these offenders that ensures a high level of monitoring (e.g. electronic monitoring, frequent in-house contacts and oversight/approval of an offender's daily schedule, etc.). In the absence of transitional housing, applicants must explain their plan for intensive supervision of participating offenders and close monitoring of their daily schedules. For example, offenders can be electronically monitored in their homes. Applicants should also provide a plan for assisting offenders in obtaining long-term housing after their release from transitional housing or some other form of supervised living environment. (See Appendix A for information about U.S. Department of Justice programs and Appendix F for U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development programs.)
  • Job Training and Placement Services. In order for offenders to successfully reenter the community, programs must address their employment needs. Programs should involve workforce investment systems to help offenders with employment and training assistance and to help businesses find ways to employ these offenders. An individual service strategy should be completed for each offender. This assessment leads to links with job training, job placement, and other employment services. Workforce investment boards in the community and the business community should be directly involved in this service delivery which should include assessment of the offender's skills, abilities, interests, and job readiness and individualized training. Related programs include One-Stop Career Centers, youth programs funded under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Job Corps, Youth Opportunity Grant Program, labor market information, and other employment services. (See Appendix C for information about U.S. Department of Education programs and Appendix D for U.S. Department of Labor programs.)
  • Substance Abuse Services. The delivery of substance abuse services, if needed, should begin during commitment and must be soundly based on assessments and reassessments, with changing treatment modalities and clinical interventions as needed. Treatment modalities should include outpatient, intensive outpatient, day treatment, and residential treatment. Effective treatment requires a wide range of clinical interventions within treatment modalities that would include participation in some type of support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Women for Sobriety, and Secular Organization for Sobriety. Because substance dependence is a relapsing disease, protocols should be developed to address a participant's positive test for drug or alcohol use. Substance abuse treatment should be integrated with mental health treatment to address the needs of those with co-occurring disorders. For offenders who are not identified as substance abusers or dependent on alcohol or drugs, preventative educational services should be offered. (See Appendix A for information about U.S. Department of Justice programs and Appendix E for information about U.S. Department of Health and Human Services programs.)
  • Mental Health Services. Services must be provided to offenders experiencing serious mental illness. These services should be integrated into community-based services that include a continuity of service providers and treatment and culturally sensitive and high-quality empowering services. Models of effective treatment that are most effective include the following components: regular screening and assessment with appropriate referrals and followup, psychosocial rehabilitation services, crisis intervention, anger management counseling, batterer intervention programming, appropriate medication and medication management, consumer-operated and peer-support groups, integrated treatment with substance abuse for those with co-occurring disorders, supported employment, and housing. Furthermore, the standard mental health treatment for youth with serious emotional disturbances should include regular screening and assessment, "wraparound" services, and family support. (See Appendix E for information about U.S. Department of Health and Human Services programs.)
  • Medical Services. Many offenders have infectious diseases and chronic medical problems that require medication and ongoing care by a physician. Reentry planning should ensure that these offenders are enrolled or reinstated on disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs as well as on Medicaid and/or Medicare as they are released from prison. (See Appendix E for information about U.S. Department of Health and Human Services programs.)
  • Other Appropriate Support Services and Resources. Participating offenders reentering the community need a broad base of support services that could include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Food Stamps, clothing, legal support, transportation assistance, and family preservation and reunification. (See Appendix E for information about U.S. Department of Health and Human Services programs.)

Determine Definite Terms and Conditions. With the reentry plan completed and upon release from commitment, the offender must appear before the authority for formalization or ordering of a clearly articulated reentry plan. Typically, an offender will be ordered to remain drug free, make restitution to his victim and reparation to the community, participate in programs that had begun in commitment (work, education, emotions management, parenting classes, etc.), and refrain from committing crime. The offender should also be required to appear before the authority regularly to determine if the plan remains appropriate and effective and if the offender is in compliance.

Step Eight: Organize Project Management

Applicants must demonstrate that they have adequate management resources and communication systems to fulfill the requirements of the program.

Determine Staff Resources. Applicants must provide details of existing current staff resources and should design their programs to ensure that there are sufficient staff for system development, project management, and case management.

Develop a Management Plan. A management plan must demonstrate how the program will overcome typical coordination difficulties found in designing, implementing, and operating multisystem programs. It must also ensure sufficient management staffing to accomplish the time-consuming and vital activities of developing and maintaining these effective partnerships while attending to the daily operations of a complex, multisystem initiative.

Design an Integrated Transition Management Information System. Grantees are encouraged to have or develop a management information system to facilitate the identification, referral, assessment, supervision, treatment, and tracking of released offenders. This system should build upon existing systems whenever possible and be automated when feasible. Information collected would ideally include institution plans and services received, tracking information, sanctions and incentives used, and progress. Regardless of the method, however, applicants will be required to collect all data needed for the national evaluation and federal reporting requirements.

Step Nine: Develop the Project's Budget

Discretionary grant funding under this Initiative will be provided only to fill gaps that would otherwise be unmet by existing and available federal, state, and local resources. Potential applicants are encouraged to review and access the program's other resources available from the various federal agencies that are described in the Reentry Web site at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/reentry/.

Identify Need for Discretionary Funds. After applicants have determined how existing resources and funds will support each component of their program, they will be able to identify their areas of need. They should specify the amount of discretionary funds they will need for each component for which they could not identify existing or sufficient funds and resources. Applicants must provide a budget breakdown of the funds requested using the following categories: personnel, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, construction, consultants/contracts, and other.

Federal Funding Strategy. The federal partners will review each applicant's use of existing resources and request for discretionary funding to support areas for which existing resources are not available or adequate. Applicants will receive $500,000 - $2,000,000 in a single award that will be accessed as necessary over the 3-year project period. Grantees will be required to submit quarterly Financial Status Reports to account for the use of these funds. See Appendix N for information on Funding Restrictions from the partner agencies.

EVALUATION AND DOCUMENTATION

Evaluation Requirements

The federal partners will select an evaluator of program impacts through a separate solicitation. The evaluator will work with the federal partners and the program sites to design and conduct rigorous evaluations for selected program sites involving pre- and post-program measurements and with control/comparison groups of offenders. It is expected that approximately 10 sites will be identified by the federal partners and the evaluator for inclusion in a multisite evaluation. While several factors will be considered, selection of sites will be based primarily on the identification of promising strategies for reentry within well-implemented programs. All program sites will be expected to cooperate in evaluability assessment efforts conducted by the evaluator as part of the multisite selection process. Sites selected for the impact evaluation will be required to:

  • Help identify and provide access to control/comparison populations.
  • Collect specific data and provide access to other information.
  • Assist in the tracking/followup of offenders in research samples.

Applicants should discuss their capacity to support the requirements of an experimental study, with appropriate control and/or comparison groups, in their proposals. The study design and methodology will be developed jointly by the evaluator and the selected program sites.

The federal partners may also support a number of topical research studies during the course of this initiative. These studies would serve to illuminate and analyze issues encountered when trying to influence the behavior of serious, violent offenders, and contribute to criminal justice knowledge about offender behavior and characteristics of successful interventions. Program sites would be expected to accord researchers access to program information relevant to developing important research questions and designs.

Documenting Implementation

Program sites will also be asked to document the implementation of their programs by the various agencies and organizations involved, the types of resources leveraged, and the level and types of contacts with juvenile or adult serious, high-risk offenders. This information will play a critical part in program management and oversight, and will be used to monitor implementation progress.

A template for documenting the implementation of projects will be designed by a national contractor, working with federal partners and the local sites, and will be available for downloading at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/reentry. The template will specify dimensions of interest, rather than detailed items to be reported. In this way, the reporting format can accommodate the complexities and contextual environment of each community and its reentry initiative.

The specific federally assisted elements in program sites are expected to vary, since each program site will build a reentry model program based on its unique set of available resources and unmet needs. This template will also include certain core data elements that will apply to all program sites.

Inclusion of GPRA requirement for grantees. The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) mandates increased accountability and performance-based management by federal agencies. This has resulted in an increased focus on outcomes in evaluating effectiveness of federal activities, and in measuring progress toward achieving national goals and objectives for the Reentry Initiative. Grantees will be expected to comply with the GPRA reporting requirements.

APPLICATION FORMAT AND CORRESPONDING FUNDING PRIORITIES

Project Narrative (70 points)

Applicants should describe their proposal in detail in their project narrative which follows Steps One through Nine as previously described. Project narratives may not exceed 30 double-spaced single-sided pages using 12-point typeface and 1-inch margins. Narratives must include the following information in the order listed. When writing the project narrative, be sure to be clear about which activities will be conducted in months 1 through 9 and 9 through 12, in months 13 through 24, and in months 25 through 36.

Within the general headings listed below, provide as much detail as possible. As a result, the project narrative should be structured as follows:

  1. Problems To Be Addressed (5 points).
    1. The Problems.
    2. Analysis of the Population.
  2. Project's Goals and Objectives (5 points).
  3. Identifying the Target Population (5 points).
    1. Target Populations.
    2. Plan To Select Offenders To Participate.
  4. Organizational Capacity (25 points).
    1. Lead Agency.
    2. Local Readiness.
      1. Decisionmakers.
      2. Decisionmaker Agreement.
    3. State Readiness.
      1. Decisionmakers.
      2. Decisionmaker Agreement.
  5. Project Design and Management (30 points).
    1. Authority and Coordination/Project Management.
    2. Service Delivery Systems.
    3. Transition Team.
    4. System of Offender Assessments.
    5. System for Offender Reentry Plans.
    6. Continuum of Supervision.
    7. Continuity of Services.
    8. Definite Terms and Conditions.
    9. Plan for Program Sustainability.
    10. Staff Resources.
    11. Information Sharing/Data Collection.

Budget (20 points)

Identify need for discretionary funds.

Attachments (10 points)

To help reviewers gauge the likelihood of grantee success, applicants must submit the following appendices as evidence of their readiness and potential.

Attachment A: Resources List. This is a listing of the existing federal, state, and local services provided to targeted offenders returning to the community. At a minimum, the list should include provider names, addresses, phone numbers, and a brief description of the services offered.

Attachment B: Cross-System Protocols. These are interagency agreements and protocols outlining a multidisciplinary approach to responding to the reentry of these offenders, case management and tracking, and provision of services and treatment to these offenders and their families (including protocols for identifying and providing services to special-needs offenders). Such agreements should, at a minimum, be among parole/aftercare agents, law enforcement, the courts, the appropriate health and mental health agencies, education officials, and job services providers. Where agreements are not developed, please provide policies and protocols that exist between these agencies for services to offenders and families in general. Agreements and protocols that include the school system and victims' services and advocates will further enhance the application. (To limit pages submitted, applicants may provide a bibliography of protocols and interagency agreements that includes date(s) of agreement/effective date(s) and selected, relevant pages as evidence of applicability of the documents to this effort.)

Attachment C: Memorandums of Agreement. It is imperative that the plan is a mutual submission by all decisionmakers. As evidence, applicants must submit a statement asserting that each party signing was substantially involved in the development of the plan. The statement must contain each person's signature, typed or printed name, address, telephone number, and affiliation (title and agency or roleCe.g., parent, block leader). See Step Five for additional information.

Where To Send Applications

Applications should be submitted online through OJP's Grant Management System (GMS). Visit the OJP web site and download the online GMS Applicant Procedures Manual at: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/fundopps.htm for information about this process. For further information regarding the necessary forms and documents, see Appendix O.

SELECTION PROCESS FOR FUNDING APPLICATIONS

Peer Review Committee

A peer review committee determined by all the federal partners will evaluate applications and assign each a point value based on how well the application addresses each section of the application.

Selection Criteria

All applicants will be evaluated and rated by a peer review panel according to the point system outlined. Applicants will be urged to use the selection criteria headings that appear above as the headings for their program narrative and present information in that order. The selection criteria will be used to determine the extent of each applicant's responsiveness to program application requirements, compliance with eligibility requirements, indicators of need, organizational capability, and thoroughness and innovation in responding to strategic issues related to project implementation. Staff and peer reviewer recommendations are advisory only, and the final award decision will be made by the Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, in collaboration with the federal partners and taking into consideration geographic diversity and other considerations.

APPLICATION FORMAT AND REQUIREMENTS FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND/OR EVALUATION SERVICES

Applicants should describe their reentry program in their project narrative as required in Section I through V in the previous section. Essentially, the same application narrative and attachments are required except that applicants under this section do not need to complete the Budget section if they are only requesting technical assistance or inclusion in the national evaluation.

It is important to be detailed regarding your specific technical assistance needs as described below. If preliminarily selected for the federal evaluation component, you may be required to then submit more detailed information regarding your reentry program before final acceptance to the program.

I Technical Assistance Request.

Describe in detail the types of support or assistance the federal partners could provide your program, if you are applying for this option. If not applying for technical assistance, indicate so in the project narrative.

II Evaluation.

To apply for inclusion in the national evaluation, simply include a statement in the project narrative indicating your desire to do so and your agreement to provide any additional information requested prior to final selection and your agreement to abide by the requirements of the evaluation program.

Selection Process

There is no point system for selection when applying only for technical assistance and/or inclusion in the national evaluation under this category of applications. Selections will be based on the applicant's demonstration of the comprehensiveness of the reentry program and the need for technical assistance or the suitability of the program's design for the national evaluation.

FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR GRANTEES

National Evaluation

The federal partners will select a national evaluator through a separate solicitation that will have three broad responsibilities. The first is to develop a template for a process evaluation for all selected sites. The process evaluation will document the implementation of sites and assist in fine tuning the program. Areas to be addressed by the process evaluation may include determining whether available resources can sustain project activities, the quality of the services provided by the program, and monitoring clients' and other decisionmakers' experiences with the project. The purpose of the process evaluation is to document program implementation and the community context for the program for cross-site analysis, and to identify promising strategies in successful reentry of serious and violent juvenile and adult offenders.

Second, the national evaluator will work with the federal partners and the program sites to design and conduct rigorous evaluations for the selected program sites. A select number of sites will be identified by the federal partners and the national evaluator for inclusion in a national cross-site evaluation. Selection of sites for the rigorous outcome studies will be based on the identification of promising strategies for reentry.

Third, the national evaluator will conduct a number of basic research studies during the course of this initiative. These studies will serve to illuminate the complexity of the serious, high-risk offender and provide an important contribution to the criminal justice knowledge base on offender characteristics and the predictability of program success. Specifically the national evaluation will be designed to build knowledge about certain aspects of serious and violent reentry initiatives, including:

  • How useful are existing risk assessment instruments and data for predicting the potential for recidivism among serious, high-risk offenders?
  • To what extent does the community influence the successful reentry of the offender? What are the elements of communities that are supportive of reentry efforts?
  • Are there program strategies that can be identified as particularly effective with juvenile offenders as a unique population? Adult offenders?

The national evaluator will work with the program sites to collect cross-site data and to conduct rigorous evaluations in selected sites. All program sites will be expected to provide information on a periodic basis to the national evaluator. Program sites will meet with the national evaluator as an initial step of the implementation of the project. Projects sites will be expected to:

  • Provide input and participate in the final evaluation design.
  • Provide the national evaluator with access to all necessary program related data, including qualitative and quantitative program data.
  • Share program data and findings with the national evaluator in compliance with federal human subject research and confidentiality regulations. Program partners collecting data will be required to comply with these regulations as well (see Standard Information and Requirements Section for detailed guidance).
  • If selected as a national outcome evaluation program site, collaborate with the national evaluator and the federal partners in the specialized design and implementation of the rigorous outcome studies.
  • Contribute to a learning community of innovative reentry initiatives by forming collaborative relationships with all of the program sites funded in the Initiative.

Training and Technical Assistance

The federal partners will provide a complete range of technical assistance through existing contractors to help guide grantees and implement their reentry initiatives. Prior to May 15, 2002, a series of regional meetings and teleconferences will be conducted to provide guidance to potential participants about identifying and utilizing existing resources, implementing their reentry programs, developing all phases as identified in this solicitation, and enlisting the support of all relevant state and local agencies. The contractors will organize and facilitate technical assistance or cluster meetings, provide onsite and off-site support, and facilitate cross-site sharing of information and promising practices.

Grantees will be required to attend two technical assistance or cluster meetings during the project period. Applicants should budget for the cost (air fare, hotel, per diem, and ground transportation) for the project coordinator and no more than two other key staff members to attend two meetings of three days each. These meetings are expected to be held in Washington, DC. The purpose of these meetings will be to review program implementation, evaluation, and any other related programmatic and fiscal matters.

 


NOTES:

1Violent crime includes criminal homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault.

2Property crime includes burglary, larceny-theft, auto theft, and arson.

3Such factors could include, but are not limited to, current prior convictions for violent offenses or serious offenses that may not be defined by statute as violent; violent, assaultive, predatory, or disruptive in-prison behavior; and other high risk factors that may include affiliation with gangs or security threat groups.

4 Recidivism in this context refers to those offenders who will commit new crimes after their release from prison.

5 Hereafter in this solicitation, all references to family or victim participation imply that in cases of domestic violence, child abuse, or elder abuse, family members should be involved only when safe.


REFERENCES

Gendreau, P., and Andrews, D.A. 1990. Tertiary prevention: What the meta-analysis of the offender treatment literature tells us about "what works." Canadian Journal of Criminology 32:173B184.

Hughes, T., Beck, A., and Wilson, D. 2001. Trends in State Parole, 1990-2000. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Sickmund, M. 2000. Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement Databook. Fact Sheet. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.