Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $300,000)
The Fiscal Year 2017 Smart on Juvenile Justice: Enhancing Youth Access to Justice Initiative (hereinafter Initiative) aims to further OJJDPs mission by funding efforts to (1) develop and implement standards of policy and practice to effectively manage well-resourced, statewide juvenile indigent defense systems; (2) develop state or regional resource centers that will help state, tribal, and local juvenile defense systems enhance the quality of legal representation, leverage resources, and collect and analyze data to measure the effectiveness of juvenile defense initiatives; and, (3) support community-based nonprofit organizations that provide direct reentry services, mentoring, and reentry planning to youth in secure confinement or out-of-home placement who are transitioning, or have recently transitioned, back to their families and communities. The goal of Category Three is to fund community-based service providers to offer and deliver reentry services to youth who are reintegrating into communities following secure confinement or out-of-home placement. Awards under Category Three will be made pursuant to Section 211 of the Second Chance Act, 42 USC 17531; Pub. L. No. 115-31, 131 Stat. 135, 204.
Empowering Pacific Island Communities (EPIC), through its American Samoa Youth Offender Reentry Program, will provide a multifaceted approach to help youthful offenders successfully transition from institutionalization in a juvenile detention facility or other out-of-home placement back to their families and communities. The primary goal of the program is to remove all barriers that limit access to education, employment, and stable housing by providing reentry services as well as a coordinated care system, including integrated, evidence-based intervention and treatment and effective transitional support services such as mentoring, peer counseling, and life skills training. EPIC will provide reentry services for record expungement, correction of records, reinstatement of drivers licenses, and assistance with navigating public services for housing, education, and employment opportunities. Concurrently, youth participants will have access to behavioral health services and support, family and group counseling, peer support, and mentorship. CA/NCF