SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in consultation with the Corrections Standards Authority announced today that it will award $9.5 million in grants to providers in five different counties in an effort to improve reentry services for juvenile offenders returning home on parole.
The grant award recipients include the Youth Employment Partnership in Oakland; the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency; Phoenix House in Orange County; Prototypes, Center for Innovation in the City of Los Angeles, and California Youthbuild Initiatives in Fresno. The Juvenile Justice Community Reentry Challenge Grant Program is a pilot program intended to offer new tools, opportunities and structured reentry approach for parolees leaving DJJ institutions and returning to their home counties on parole as well as youthful offenders under the jurisdiction of the county or local juvenile court. The contracts will begin June 1, 2007 and are in place until June 30, 2009.
"It is important that the state partner with local governments and community-based service providers to help meet the needs of youthful offenders as they are released, and give them a better chance to lead a crime-free life on the outside," said DJJ Chief Deputy Secretary Bernard E. Warner. "This program helps provide a continuity of services for wards of the Division of Juvenile Justice that is important as they reenter society."
"These grants are part of a broader statewide effort to increase rehabilitation programs and reentry services for youth and adult offenders so that they can be successful upon their release," said Senator Michael Machado, who sponsored legislation including these grants to be part of Governor Schwarzenegger's budget in 2006. "Reducing California's recidivism rates will be key to addressing the underlying problems affecting our criminal justice system."
The Juvenile Justice Community Reentry Grant Program awarded the grants on a competitive basis. Applicants were required to demonstrate a collaborative and comprehensive approach to the successful community reintegration of juvenile parolees and county probationers returning from commitment or out of home placement. Services to be provided include: transitional or step-down housing, occupational development and job placement, outpatient mental health services, education, life skills counseling, restitution and community service, case management, and intermediate sanctions for technical violations of parole. The funding was provided by AB 1806, Chaptered July 12, 2006.
Per the legislation and grant language, 75 percent of the grant award is to be used for providing program services to individuals on parole from the Division of Juvenile Justice. The remainder of the grant award (up to 25 percent) may be used for providing program services to youthful offenders under the jurisdiction of the county or local juvenile court who are transitioning from commitment or out of home placement back into the community.
The programs winning the grant awards are expected to work with the juvenile court and the local probation departments throughout the state targeting 680 juveniles released on parole or probation. The Department received 40 applications requesting more than $60 million in funding to establish and track outcomes of their respective programs. A total of 29 applications made it through the initial screening process with five grantees announced today.
Background on Juvenile Justice Reforms
Working with special experts under a stipulated court agreement, the Division of Juvenile Justice filed six remedial plans with the courts in the areas of sexual behavior treatment, ward with disabilities, education, health care, mental health treatment and safety and welfare. The division has an aggressive agenda to fulfill necessary tasks laid out in the plans, and has secured the necessary funding to get those initiatives moving in this Legislative session. The funding for The Juvenile Justice Community Reentry Challenge Grant Program supports the remedial plans. More grant funding related to juvenile justice needs between the state and the counties is expected in the coming months.
For more information on the grant process, click here http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Divisions_Boards/DJJ/rfp/index.html