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Evaluation of the Second Chance Act (SCA) Adult Demonstration 2009 Grantees, Interim Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2013
113 pages
This report presents the methodology and findings of an evaluation of the implementation of 10 Second Chance Act (SCA) adult demonstration grants for programs intended to improve reentry services for adult offenders.
Each SCA project targeted medium to high-risk adult offenders and enrolled participants well before release, just before release, or just after release. The focal point of project services across all 10 sites was case management that involved needs-based service planning and service coordination. Across the sites, case managers were specialized parole officers or employees of either municipal or nonprofit organizations. Other SCA services included education and training, employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, cognitive-behavioral therapy, pro-social services, housing assistance, and other supportive services. These services were either provided directly by the case managers through formal agreements with service providers or through unfunded informal referrals to community agencies. The direct services model provided services tailored to participants. This required case managers to have specialized expertise, so it was used sparingly. The formal partnership model ensured priority access to services that participants needed, but was costly. The informal partnership model provided participants with access to a wide variety of community services, but often without close coordination with the SCA project. Each grantee used all three of these service delivery models. Grantees faced numerous challenges in developing projects, stemming partly from the difficulty in serving offenders and partly due to obstacles in mounting evidence-based reentry programming. The projects that overcame these challenges created strong foundations for sustainable systems change. The grantees included State departments of corrections, county sheriff's offices, county health agencies, and other public agencies. Site visits to each grantee lasted 2 to 3 days each. Evaluators interviewed key managers and staff, conducted focus groups with program participants, and reviewed case files. 5 exhibits, 16 references, and appended grantee profiles and assessment tools

Date Published: August 1, 2013