Office of Criminal Justice Programs Announces Grant Opportunities for County Correction Facilities

Wednesday, August 02, 2023 | 11:22am

NASHVILLE – Local jails in Tennessee are eligible for grants that could help reduce recidivism. The Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP) is offering the grants for evidence-based jail programming that meets specific criteria related to successful inmate re-entry into communities.

“The deadline to apply for the Evidence-Based Programming (EBP) project is September 29, so we’re reaching out to eligible counties across the state to make sure they know about the grants and provide any assistance needed,” OCJP Director Jennifer Brinkman said. “We all want to see inmates succeed when they’re released from jail and there are programs proven to deliver better success for helping inmates integrate into the community in a successful way.”

Reducing recidivism and facilitating re-entry is also embraced by the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC), which increases the state inmate per diem paid to county jails that implement evidence-based programming.

“Evidence-based programming is proven to positively impact the drivers of crime and reduce recidivism,” TDOC Commissioner Frank Strada said. “Since 95% of incarcerated people will return home one day, this collaboration between the state and county jails will prepare individuals for reentry and make Tennessee a safer place to live.”

Priority will be given to applications that create or enhance behavioral health programming for inmates and even greater for partnerships with Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse licensed providers.

“Investing in evidence-based interventions for men and women re-entering communities from incarceration results in truly life-changing outcomes,” Commissioner Marie Williams said. “We’re grateful to our partners at OCJP and excited to see how the grantees utilize this opportunity in the communities they serve.”

The project offers programming to help:

·       Improve access to knowledge, skills, and resources required for successful re-entry into local communities following release from incarceration.

·       Reduce recidivism rates among formerly incarcerated individuals; and

·       Increase meaningful collaboration between local jails and local community partners.

Eligible agencies are limited to county governments that operate an adult correctional facility housing convicted felons and meet criteria to create or enhance inmate programming. These entities may subcontract with community-based nonprofit partners to implement evidence-based programs.

*Agencies intending to implement an evidence-based program are required to use recognized programs that are rated as “Highest Rated” or “Second Highest Rated” according to the Results First Clearing House (Click the link and select “correctional facility” on the left).

Agencies intending to implement a vocational program with these funds can reference TDOC’s list of vocational programming currently offered in Tennessee prisons. Information is also available on vocational programs offered through Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.

CLICK HERE for the Intent to Apply (Due September 29, 2023)

CLICK HERE for the Application (Due September 29, 2023)

The scope and budget documents are linked with instructions within the application.

OCJP functions as a strategic planning agency that secures, distributes and manages federal and state grant funds for Tennessee. While collaborating with other public and non-profit agencies, OCJP utilizes these grant monies to support innovative projects statewide in efforts to reduce criminal activity, provide services for victims of crime and promote overall enhancement of the criminal justice system in Tennessee.