Section 101 of the Second Chance Act authorizes the Department of Justice to award grants to counties and states to improve reentry outcomes for incarcerated youth. The Second Chance Act Program supports counties and states in refining and implementing improved collaborative strategies to address the challenges that reentry and recidivism reduction pose. Implementing a cooperative and wide-ranging plan for reducing recidivism is challenging for even the most sophisticated juvenile justice agencies and requires an intensive systemwide realignment to address gaps in programs and services to improve outcomes for youth in contact with the juvenile justice system. This program will provide grants to support counties and states that have developed a recidivism reduction plan to better align juvenile justice policy, practice, and resource allocation with what research shows works to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth in contact with the juvenile justice system. OJJDP expects that a committee, task force, or working group will designate an agency to act as the legal applicant for this grant program. This solicitation will support counties and states that illustrate their readiness to implement a planning strategy developed and coordinated among multiple systems, to track implementation progress, and to show progress toward sustainable changes.
Over the past decade, the nation has made significant progress in reducing juvenile incarceration rates as the number of juveniles in residential placement fell 50 percent between 1999 and 2013.3 Although this is a significant accomplishment, essential work remains to be done to reduce recidivism and improve other outcomes, such as education and behavioral health, for youth in contact with the juvenile justice system. Significant barriers to improving youth outcomes include (1) insufficient fidelity to the program model or strategy when implementing research-based improvement strategies; (2) limited collaboration across government agencies, service systems, and state/local lines; and (3) a lack of data to track and measure progress and hold agencies and providers accountable for results. To address these challenges, counties and states need a comprehensive implementation plan to better align their juvenile justice policies, practices, and resource allocation with what works to improve outcomes for youth. Successful applicants will use OJJDP funding to implement existing countywide or statewide planning strategies to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth. These plans must have been formalized through legislation, appropriations, and/or administrative policy and/or have resulted from two or more state or county agencies collaborating on key policy and practice changes. These plans and all implementation activities should reflect the key principles and practices for improving outcomes for youth outlined in Appendix A, “Second Chance Act Grantees: What You Need to Know to Ensure Your Program Is Built on Principles of Effective Practice.” OJJDP will provide funding and technical assistance to grantees to support and guide adherence to these principles and practices.
This solicitation will support the implementation of a countywide or statewide plan to improve outcomes for youth in contact with the juvenile justice system. As a result, the target population should be all youth involved in the juvenile justice system, with a specific emphasis on youth assessed in the strategic plan, using a validated risk assessment tool, as moderate and high risk for reoffending; under community supervision; and placed in and returning from a period of incarceration in state, local, and privately run facilities. Award recipients must admit targeted youth to the program prior to their 18th birthday. However, they may continue to implement their plan for these individuals beyond their 18th birthday. OJJDP does not have a set timeline for terminating these services; instead, they can continue as long as is deemed necessary per the statewide plan for providing services.”
Excerpted from OMB No. 1121-0329 OJJDP FY 2017 Second Chance Act: Implementing County and Statewide Plans To Improve Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System