Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $625,000)
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.
The 'Second Chance Mentoring Project' will employ an innovative peer mentoring strategy. This program will be supported by the BBBS evidence-based service delivery system and incorporates frequent contact between the mentor and BBBS staff members, between the mentor and youth offender, and between the BBBS staff, TYC staff and the mentor. Prior to matching youth to a mentor, an assessment of the youth offender will be made to determine appropriateness. According to research, mentoring is effective if it can be maintained on a long-term basis, and mentors will be asked to commit to at least one year. Many researchers believe that the success of transitioning back into the community is related to intervention in the home community and social network within which the offending originated. The 'Second Chance' Project will provide mentoring relationships that begin in the correctional facility and continue in the community when the youth is released from the facility. BBBS will collect and analyze the performance measure data in evaluating and improving the project. BBBS and TYC will also contract with an outside independent evaluator to study the project.