DOJ – Second Chance Act – Adult Reentry Program Utilizing Mentors (2015)

Applications Due: June 11, 2015, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time

Description: This solicitation is aimed at promoting more effective and successful reentry for formerly incarcerated individuals through the utilization of comprehensive, evidence-based wrap-around reentry plans which address the identified needs of the individuals and are supported by trained mentors. These needs are often related to housing, employment, substance abuse, and mental health.

A core component of programs supported under this solicitation is the utilization of trained mentors who are assigned to program participants. The assigned mentors then support the individuals’ preparations for release and help to link them to programs and services in the community that address their identified needs. In addition, mentors provide emotional support and encouragement to individuals returning from incarceration, hold them accountable throughout the treatment process, and play active roles in promoting positive behavioral changes.

Funding Title: Second Chance Act Comprehensive Community-Based Adult Reentry Program Utilizing Mentors

Agency Name: Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance

Funding Instrument Type: Grant

Express Language for Legal Aid:  Yes. The grant solicitation states:

“Resources for Civil Legal Aid

May 2012, new guidance was issued to inform Second Chance Act grantees that expenditures on a wide range of legal services for individuals returning from incarceration may be an appropriate use of grant funds, where such services further the Second Chance Act’s purpose to “break the cycle of criminal recidivism, increase public safety and help states, local units of government, and Indian tribes, better address the growing population of criminal offenders who return to their communities.”

Civil legal assistance can play a critical role in addressing barriers to successful reintegration. The guidance clarifies that an allowable use of Second Chance Act funds for reentry services includes referral to and payment of legal services related to the purpose of the grant, such as:

  • Securing a driver’s license;
  • Expunging criminal records;
  • Litigating inappropriate denials of housing or employment, and violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act;
  • Creating and/or modifying child support orders; and
  • Providing other family law services that help stabilize individuals and families impacted by incarceration.This guidance is available at”

Target Population: The target population for mentoring programs supported under this solicitation must be a specific subset of the population of individuals aged 18 and older convicted as an adult and imprisoned in a state, local, or tribal prison or jail. For federally recognized Indian tribes, the individuals may be housed in a tribal, regional, county, or local jail pursuant to state or tribal law. Applicants must identify and define the specific subset of formerly incarcerated individuals, or combination of subsets, that are proposed to be the target population of their project.

Expected Number of Awards: Up to 7 awards

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No. This solicitation does not require a match. However, if a successful application proposes a voluntary match amount, and OJP approves the budget, the total match amount incorporated into the approved budget becomes mandatory and subject to audit.

How to Apply:  Applicants must register in, and submit applications through, a “one-stop storefront” to find federal funding opportunities and apply for funding. Find complete instructions on how to register and submit an application at Applicants that experience technical difficulties during this process should call the Customer Support Hotline at 800-518- 4726 or 606–545–5035, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except federal holidays. Registering with is a one-time process; however, processing delays may occur, and it can take several weeks for first-time registrants to receive confirmation and a user password. OJP encourages applicants to register several weeks before the application submission deadline. In addition, OJP urges applicants to submit applications 72 hours prior to the application due date to allow time to receive validation messages or rejection notifications from, and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification.

Current Closing Date for Applications: June 11, 2015, 11:59 p.m.

Estimated Total Program Funding:  Approximately $7,000,000        

Award Ceiling:  Up to $1,000,000 for a 36-month project period

Award Floor:  $0

Eligible Applicants: Applicants are limited to nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations) with a documented history of providing comprehensive, evidence-based reentry services, and federally- recognized Indian tribes.

Priority Consideration: Priority consideration will be given to applicants who:

 Provide for an independent evaluation of the project that includes, to the maximum extent feasible, random assignment of individuals to program delivery and control groups, as per the Second Chance Act, Section 211(c).

Policy and Regulations on Use of Funds:

Current/Past Funding Recipients: 2014

Link to Full Announcement:

Contact Information:

For technical assistance with submitting an application, contact the Customer Support Hotline at 800-518-4726 or 606-545-5035, or via e-mail to The Support Hotline hours of operation are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except federal holidays.

Applicants that experience unforeseen technical issues beyond their control that prevent them from submitting their application by the deadline must e-mail the BJA contact identified below within 24 hours after the application deadline and request approval to submit

their application. Additional information on reporting technical issues is found under “Experiencing Unforeseen Technical Issues” in the How to Apply section.

For assistance with any other requirement of this solicitation, contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center: toll-free at 1-800-851-3420; via TTY at 301-240- 6310 (hearing impaired only); email; fax to 301-240-5830; or web chat at The NCJRS Response Center hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. eastern time, Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. eastern time, on the solicitation close date.

Categories: Department of Justice, Employment, Express Language for Legal Aid, Housing, Native American Tribes or Tribal Organizations, Non-profit Organizations, Reentry, Subgrant Possibilities

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