Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $749,559)
The Second Chance Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110-199) supports a comprehensive response to the increasing number of people who are released from prison, jail, and juvenile facilities each year and are returning to their communities. The Second Chance Act will help juvenile participants released from residential confinement to successfully transition back into society. Section 101 of the Act authorizes grants to state and local governments, territories, and federally recognized Indian tribes that they may use for demonstration projects to promote the safe and successful reintegration of individuals who have been incarcerated into the community.
The overarching goal of the South Dakota Youth Offender Reentry Initiative is to increase public safety and reduce the rate of recidivism by 50% over a five-year period for offenders released from a juvenile residential facility to aftercare in the Rapid City area and those youth transitioning to the community through the West Farm group home located in Sioux Falls. In addition to addressing the 46% one-year recidivism rate for juvenile offenders, other problems addressed by the Initiative include the need for transition education services, employment preparation, pro-social and moral reasoning skill development, and independent living training. The primary component of the Youth Offender Reentry Initiative is the establishment of a transition center for each of the two project locations. The Rapid City transition center will serve 80 youth per year and the West Farm site will serve 50. The applicant will collaborate with local school districts and community-based service providers to develop and implement the program. The existing assessment processes will be enhanced for the target population by implementing employability, independent living, and social skills/moral reasoning assessments to identify service needs. Services will be provided in five domains ' academic skills, workforce skills, independent living skills, pro-social skills, and moral reasoning skills. CA/NCF