Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $749,703)
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. The FY 2014 Second Chance Act Two-Phase Juvenile Reentry Demonstration Program will help ensure that the assessments and services youth receive in secure confinement, reentry planning process, and services and supervision youth receive upon reentry promote reduced recidivism rates and improvements in positive youth outcomes.
The Division of Youth Services oversees the only juvenile correctional institution in Mississippi (MS), Oakley Youth Development Center (OYDC). OYDC serves delinquent males and females ages 10 to 17 years. The number of commitments in 2011 was 199 and has increased by 13.5% to 226 in 2013. Many high-risk youth are being released from ODYC too soon and are returning to resource poor communities that lack the ability to provide adequate levels of supervision and services. The Division of Youth Services proposes to address the high return rate to OYDC and the need for more intensive supervision and services for juvenile offenders paroled from OYDC by establishing the Mississippi Juvenile Reentry Program. The target population for the program will be males ages 16 to 18 years who are assessed at OYDC as high risk for recidivism. Male juveniles account for 67% of youth referred to the MS juvenile justice system and 90% of juveniles committed to OYDC in 2013.
The Division of Youth Services will create a Juvenile Reentry Task Force to oversee and implement a comprehensive strategic plan to reduce recidivism and to increase positive youth re-entry outcomes among the target population. The primary goal of the Mississippi Juvenile Re-entry Program will be to reduce the recidivism rate among high risk older adolescent males paroled from OYDC. The Task Force will be responsible for creating policy and procedure, developing the project design, supervision, developing partnerships and research and evaluation. The Task Force will be comprised of DYS, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, South Poverty Law Center, the MS Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts, and the Division of Medicaid. The reentry program will develop a Reentry Center to provide evidence based modules to assess and treat identified youth. The recidivism rate for the target population will be calculated on an annual basis and compared with the baseline rate. Annual targets for reducing the baseline rate will be set with the long-term goal of reducing the recidivism rate by 50% over a 5-year period