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Polk County Second Chance Juvenile Mentoring Initiative

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $567,419)

The Second Chance Act (P.L. 110-199) authorizes grants to government agencies and nonprofit groups to provide employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing, family programming, mentoring, victims support, and other services to help adult and juvenile ex-offenders make a successful transition from incarceration to the community. In support of the goals of the Second Chance Act, OJJDP will provide grants to support mentoring and other transitional services essential to reintegrating juvenile offenders into the community. The grants will be used for mentoring juvenile offenders during confinement, through transition back to the community, and post-release; transitional services to assist the reintegration of youth offenders into the community; and training in offender and victims issues. The legislative authority for this initiative can be found in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 2002 and the Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2009, Pub. L. 111-8.

Serve Our Youth Network (SOY), a faith-based youth mentoring organization in Polk County, Iowa, proposes an expanded community partnership to implement evidence-based transitional services designed for reintegrating juvenile offenders into the community and reducing recidivism. The project which is housed at the Polk County Youth Services Shelter (PCYS), will serve 420 PCYS incarcerated juveniles through mentoring goals strongly influenced by an OJJDP Reentry/Continuing Care Systems model, Straight Ahead Ministries (Boston)/PPV research and practice, AMACHI, and Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets. The project's design reflects three goals and nine objectives organized under Institution (protect and prepare), Transition (control and restore) and Community (sustain and support) phases as sponsored by NIC/OJJDP. The project goals will be: to add 84 new trained mentors with at least 18-month commitments, equip 38 new community wraparound Partnership outreaches, enhance institutional juvenile group mentoring assessment and care plans, and increase the effectiveness in mentor/juvenile and family/guardian transition plan development, resulting in positive attitudes and behaviors that reintegrate ex-offender juveniles into strong community support structures. Short-term outcomes will demonstrate new case management, job readiness, education service capacity; mentor identification, training and integration into system flow; and new juvenile family/guardian leadership. Intermediate outcomes will demonstrate recidivism rates declining from a current 38% to 21% in 2009-2010; 18% in 2010-2011, and 15% by 2011-2012. The project's evaluation will be crafted by an external evaluator who will document the measurement of outcome and process objectives using contemporary methodology and a Data Collection Field Guide to document results for SOY, Partnership members and OJJDP. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 29, 2009