Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $420,000)
The FY 2015 Second Chance Act Strengthening Relationships Between Young Fathers and Their Children: A Reentry Mentoring Project helps ensure that the transition young fathers make from secure confinement facilities back to their families and their communities is successful and promotes public safety. This program will fund mentoring and comprehensive transitional services, emphasizing developing parenting skills, to offenders who are young fathers. The goals of the program are to reduce recidivism among young fathers; improve outcomes for young fathers, their children, and family members; and promote responsible fatherhood. The objectives of this program are to provide young fathers with supportive mentoring and transitional services in both confinement and in the community based on and matched to their assessed risks and parenting needs that support their successful reentry.
Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative will leverage existing resources to support the #DadLife project. The project will provide justice involved young men who are fathers both pre- and post-release services. During pre-release, the reentry specialist will conduct an initial intake with the returnee and start a release and reentry plan. Through group mentoring, justice involved young men who are fathers will prepare for release and learn how to build positive, trusting relationships and increase pro-social behavior. Post-release services will consist of a full range of mentoring, cognitive behavioral therapy, and intensive case management services that emphasize developing parenting skills of participants. A family oriented reentry plan, created with the participation of the justice involved young men and the family, will guide partnered work between project staff, the justice involved young men, and the family. Reentry Specialists will maintain the key relationship with the justice involved young men and their families to ensure that the individualized reentry plan is implemented when the participant has transitioned back to their community. The project will focus on: (1) enhancing family engagement (responsible fatherhood and addressing the needs of vulnerable children); (2) increasing positive cognitive behavioral thinking; (3) promoting economic security and self-sufficiency; and (4) reducing recidivism.