Juvenile Reentry Programs: Procuring Funding

How Will You Pay For It?

  • Overview

    SupportProcuring funding to start up and sustain any new reentry program or initiative in the community is critical. Over the years, there have been several federally funded initiatives that target juvenile reentry, such as the Intensive Aftercare Program and the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative. Today, the Second Chance Act provides grants to jurisdictions seeking to enhance their reentry programming.

    The information below discusses several different funding sources to consider, the importance of determining funding that will be needed for reentry efforts, and the value of presenting costs savings of reentry efforts (once they can be determined) to help ensure ongoing funding.

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  • Steps to Take: Lessons Learned from the Research

    Steps to Take:  Lessons Learned from the Research

    Consider all sources of funding.

    • Explore the variety of funding opportunities available, including federal and state sources.

    Determine funding/resources needed for reentry efforts.

    • If you are developing a brand-new reentry program, consider all the costs and resources needed to ensure successful implementation.
    • Consider All Sources of Funding

      A variety of federal, state, or local sources may offer money to help start reentry efforts in your community. Funding may be specifically designated for implementing reentry programming, or it may fall within a related category of juvenile justice or other prevention programs such as mental health, substance use disorders, employment, or education.

      • Explore the variety of funding opportunities available, including federal and state sources.
      • Federal Sources: At the federal level, there are several agencies that could provide funding opportunities, including the U.S. Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor. The table below provides information on a few federal sources, and how these sources can be used to find more information about funding.

        Federal Source

        How to Use It
        • Search for funding opportunities across all federal agencies
        • Custom search engine that allows you to search by specific agencies or specific youth topics such as juvenile justice and diversion.
        U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP)
        • Offices under OJP include the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; both agencies in the past have put out solicitations through the Second Chance Act (see below for more information)
        • The Grants 101 website provides an overview of the OJP application process.
        U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
        • The ETA has provided grant funding for programs that target justice-involved and at-risk youth, including the Reentry Employment Opportunities (REO) and YouthBuild.
        Remember: The amount of funding offered by government agencies depends on many factors, especially how much is set aside by Congress. Funding may be available in one year and then cut or eliminated the next. Therefore, you will need to research funding opportunities every year.

        Also, keep in mind that there may be a substantial amount of time in between submitting a proposal for consideration and receiving an award. For example, some government agencies may release funding opportunity announcements as early as February or March, but not make official award announcements until August or September, with funding potentially not beginning until January of the next year.

        Furthermore, keep in mind that federal funding may have limitations on how money can be spent. For instance, you may not be allowed to use funding to purchase vehicles, food and beverages, or monetary incentives (like prizes or awards) for youth.

        One example, the Wayne County Second Chance Reentry Program in Michigan, received federal funding under the Second Chance Act (SCA) Grant Program. The Second Chance Act–Oakland in California also received funding under the SCA to help implement the final phase to overhaul their juvenile reentry programming and to develop ongoing partnerships with several different city agencies and community-based organizations.

        Finally, juveniles returning to the community who may require treatment for issues, such as mental/behavioral health or substance use disorders, may qualify for coverage under Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Families' incomes must also be below a certain threshold for children to receive coverage under either program. However, Medicaid and CHIP both have “inmate exclusion” policies, which means treatment for juveniles while they are in out-of-home placements, such as juvenile residential facilities, cannot be covered, unless treatment is in a hospital. But, once youth return to the community, they may qualify for coverage, which can help to offset some costs of reentry programs.

        Other Useful Information...
        Funding for the Second Chance Act began in 2009. Updated information about the Second Chance Act Grant Program can be found on the website for the National Reentry Resource Center.

        Information about eligibility and coverage for Medicaid and CHIP can be found on the programs' websites. There is also additional information on Medicaid eligibility for individuals transitioning from incarceration to the community in a letter to state health officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

      • State Sources. Jurisdictions and communities may also find funding resources available at the state level. The Clay County Reentry Services Project in Minnesota, for example, received funding from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Office of Drug Policy and Violence Prevention, with funding matched by the Clay County Joint Power Collaborative (a group of multiple agencies and organizations that were focused on addressing issues related to youth and their families). Most states will likely have a website available (similar to the federal site) to search for funding opportunities.

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    • Determine Funding/Resources Needed for Reentry Efforts

      Determining a budget is complicated because many factors will affect program costs, such as staffing, training, new materials, and available resources. Information from your community needs assessment may be able to help you assess what funding is needed to start a new program (for more information, see Conducting a Community Needs Assessment).

      • If you are developing a brand-new reentry program, consider all the costs and resources needed to ensure successful implementation. For example, the Tribal Green Reentry Program, funded by OJJDP, provided demonstration sites with $700,000 for a 5-year period to support efforts to incorporate green technologies and environmentally sustainable activities into juvenile reentry efforts. The funding was meant for three full-time staff positions, but there were other costs and resources that sites had to consider to get the new programs up and running. Funding also needed to be budgeted for

        • Travel (including to conferences for peer-to-peer training sessions)
        • Consultant costs (which were needed for certain green activities requiring expertise, such as beekeeping)
        • Construction (of new greenhouses)
        • Equipment and supplies for green activities (i.e., protective clothing, tools, hoses, seeds, fertilizers, pesticides).
        Although most reentry programs do not require technical equipment, such as gardening supplies, there are still many start-up costs that every program should consider and will depend on the type of program implemented or services offered to juveniles.

        For information about securing additional funding for the future of your reentry program see Ensuring Long-Term Sustainability).

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