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The Family Intervention, Reentry & Supportive Transitions (FIRST) Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $749,967)

The Second Chance Act 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. The FY 2013 Second Chance Act Juvenile 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. CATEGORY 2: Implementation Projects must include specific strategies for implementing the ten Mandatory Requirements of a Comprehensive Reentry Program.

The San Francisco Juvenile Collaborative Reentry Unit (JCRU), piloted in 2009 and expanded in 2012 with the support of Second Chance Act funding, provides reentry case planning and aftercare services for youth returning from long-term commitment in juvenile detention centers. The JCRU, which is designed to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for high-risk and high-need youth, includes dedicated probation officers, a public defender, and social worker/case managers who develop and oversee implementation of comprehensive reentry and aftercare plans for the returning youth. While the pilot and recently expanded versions of the JCRU have achieved significant reductions in recidivism for youth reentering the community from residential commitment, commitment. In addition, the need for family-focused juvenile reentry services that offer treatment as well as surveillance and community restraint has been identified by a growing number of states and researchers around the United States. To address this gap in family therapeutic supports for youth released from residential custody, SFJPD has asked the Child, Youth and Family System of Care (CYFSOC) at the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) to lead the start-up and implementation of evidence-based, intensive family therapy services for this high-risk population. Toward this end, CYFSOC has partnered with the Young Adult and Family Center at University of California, San Francisco, as well as Seneca Family of Agencies (a nonprofit, youth and family mental health services provider), to develop the Family Intervention, Reentry & Supportive Transitions (FIRST) program for the highest-need youth supervised by the JCRU. The requested Second Chance Act grant will support the FIRST program to provide evidence-based, intensive family therapy services for 100 youth and their families during its one to two-year pilot phase. If the FIRST program is successful in further reducing recidivism rates for this high-risk population, SFJPD will identify local and other sources of funding to sustain program operation over the longer term. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 29, 2013