Contra Costa County has been awarded $1 million from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, through the “Smart Reentry: Focus on Evidence-based Strategies for Successful Reentry from Incarceration to Community Program” to help communities develop strategies that increase formerly incarcerated individuals’ likelihood of successful reentry into their communities. The five-year project includes a 12-month planning period and an intensive evaluation component. Only five other jurisdictions were awarded funds from this program nationwide. Additional information is available in the DOJ Press Release.
The Contra Costa County proposal, led by the Probation Department, focuses on transitional aged youth (TAY), those aged 18-25, a population with the highest recidivism rate nationally in comparison to other age groups. According to the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, when released from prison, 78 percent of the TAY prison population nationwide is rearrested, with around half returning to prison within three years. Within Contra Costa County, this population constitutes the largest age cohort within the jail and experiences the high rates of homelessness out of jail, particularly in East County, where the program will be located.
Through this program, Contra Costa County intends to reduce the recidivism rate by providing developmentally-appropriate services addressing issues that include homelessness, lack of education and work experience, mental health issues, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders.
GPG is proud to have provided support to Contra Costa County in its pursuit of this grant and its endeavors to address the specific needs of the TAY reentry population within the county.