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Mia Lee
Program Evaluation
The Second Chance Act
The Second Chance Act Grant Program was something that supported all state, local and
Trible governments and nonprofit organizations in their work in order to reduce recidivism and
have better outcomes for those who were returning back into society from state and federal
prisons, jails and juvenile residential facilities. This program was passed back on April 9, 2008
and aimed directly at developing the reentry route. The U.S Department of Justice’s Office of
Justice Programs funds and manages the Second Chance Act grants. This act was initially made
to be a positive impact on the life outcomes of individuals who are transitioning back into the
community after going through their incarceration period of their lives. Some of major
components and stipulations of the Second Chance Act are as follows:
1. Offender reentry substance abuse treatment grants which is designed to increase drug
treatment availability,
2. Demonstration grants which stimulate safe and effective public reintegration,
3. Mentoring grants which go to nonprofit organizations that are used in aid for mentoring
adult offenders and offering temporary services for recovery.
This act indeed reinforces communities by coming up with opportunities for the most vulnerable
citizens to obtain economic stability. The Second Chance Act helps reduce recidivism and
encourages positivity from incarceration back into the community (2015, National Initiatives).
The Roca Inc. is a nonprofit group that is based in Massachusetts and works with high-
risk youth. This is one of the organizations to receive a Second Chance Act in 2010 to coordinate
mentoring services for gang-involved young juvenile males. It specifically worked with those
who are between the ages of 18 and 24 who need help with substance abuse and are returning
into the community of Springfield Roca, Inc’s Springfield Community Mentoring Project. They
can point out that majority of their participants lack ready access to healthy relationships that can
support their development into successful members of their communities. There are three
different types of mentors who are available to their participants. The first type is volunteer
mentors and group-based services who are assigned to multiple participants and include those
who have successfully reentered the community and can give an example of how to live a clean
and sober lifestyle. These group sessions allow youth to participate in the program and be an aide
to each from their personal successors. The next type is staff who provide case management and
mentoring. This can be related to those who are high risk and provide intensive case management
to support their transition back to the community. These mentors give life skills training and
provide the accurate referrals for additional services if they are needed. The last type of mentor is
transitional employment and workplace mentors. These are mentors which help with finding
employment after being incarceration. This program helps juveniles who have no formal job
skills practice do what they must to find and retain employment.
This program is designed to turn one’s failures into successors and provide a learning
experience. Instead of kicking juveniles out of the program, they can be rehired and succeed.
Justice Center: The Council of State Governments. (2014). Second Chance Act.
Retrieved from http://csgjuticecenter.org/nrrc/projects/second-chance-act/
Justice Center: The Council of State Governments. (2012). Mentoring gang-involved
youth: How Roca, Inc. combines mentoring and services in a high-risk intervention model.
Retrieved from http://csgjusticecenter.org/nrrc/posts/mentoring-gang-involved-youth-how-roca-
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