Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $49,734)
The Second Chance Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110-199) provides a comprehensive response to the increasing number of incarcerated adults and juveniles who are released from prison, jail, and juvenile residential facilities and are returning to their communities. Approximately 100,000 youthful offenders are confined in juvenile residential facilities on any given day. The FY 2011 Second Chance Act Juvenile Offender Reentry Program helps ensure that the transition the youth make from secure confinement facilities to the community is successful and promotes public safety. A secure confinement facility may include a juvenile detention center, juvenile correctional facility, or staff-secure facility. Eligible juveniles must have been confined under juvenile court jurisdiction. This program is authorized by the Second Chance Act, Pub. L. 110-199, (42 U.S.C. § 3797w). The Second Chance Act authorizes grants to states, territories, units of local government and federally-recognized Indian tribal governments for demonstration projects to promote the safe and successful reintegration into the community of individuals who have been incarcerated or detained.
The Arkansas Division of Youth Services (DYS), a division of the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) has formed a DYS Strategic Oversight Planning Committee which will oversee the formulation and implementation of a reentry program that is in compliance with the stated mandatory requirements. The Oversight Committee expects to expand membership by inviting governmental, medical, workforce and grassroots organizations to join them. A number of subcommittees will be developed to focus on communications/media conveyance and strategies; finance and budget; mental health, substance abuse and cognitive development best practices; and data collection, information technology and evaluation processes. Members of various organizations, e.g., law enforcement/corrections, mental health, faith-based, educational, and other "front-line" service providers will be trained in the implementation and use of services outlined in the reentry plan. The Arkansas Juvenile Offender Reentry Plan will target male and female juvenile offenders who have committed specific serious/violent crimes (i.e., rape, homicide, arson, aggravated robbery, aggravated assault); are a repeat felony offender; and/or have a propensity for violence shown while in secure placement. The Information officer and Quality Assurance manager will work with a Data Collection Subcommittee and an independent evaluator to design and establish an Internet website to collect, organize, and build reports for independent and federal evaluators.