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Grants Available for Jails as Part of “Re-Entry Success Act of 2021”

Monday, May 24, 2021 | 02:03pm

NASHVILLE – Tennessee’s Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP) is taking applications for local jail grants to improve the likelihood of successful integration back into the community following release.

The Evidence-Based Jail Programming project provides $5 million for programs demonstrated to reduce recidivism rates and increase local collaboration to improve outcomes for convicted felons after release. The project is a tool developed to accompany the increased reimbursement rate program made available to jails in the recently enacted “Re-Entry Success Act of 2021,” one of Gov. Bill Lee’s Criminal Justice Reform Bills.

“Gov. Lee and the General Assembly made criminal justice reform a priority, recognizing that inmates often need programming while incarcerated in order to be successful in navigating their lives post release,” OCJP Director Jennifer Brinkman said. “We know that there can be many barriers, including financial, to a local jail being able to start or scale such programming. This grant, in addition to the enhanced reimbursement, is designed to address that challenge.”

The Evidence-Based Jail Programming grant project will fund evidence-based programs that:

·         Are supported by research to teach critical skills, such as anger management and parenting skills

·         Address substance abuse, mental or behavioral health needs

·         Provide education, including adult basic education or post-secondary level courses, including career and technical education

Eligible agencies are county governments operating adult correction facilities housing felony offenders pursuant to a contract with the state or while they are awaiting transfer to a state facility; and, meet criteria to create or enhance inmate programming. These entities may sub-contract with community-based programs for service provision.

Deadline for application is June 15, 2021. Information on how to apply for these funds is available here: https://www.tn.gov/finance/office-of-criminal-justice-programs/ocjp/fa-ocjp-grants/fa-ocjp-grantapp.html

The OCJP, a division of the Department of Finance & Administration, functions as a strategic planning agency that secures, distributes, and manages federal and state funds for Tennessee, including Victims of Crime Assistance (VOCA) funds and STOP Violence Against Women Program (STOP) funds.