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Mayor Bowser’s Efforts to Reduce Recidivism in the District Gets a $1M Boost from the Bureau of Justice Assistance

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2018

CONTACT: 
Dr. Keena Blackmon 202-671-2135, [email protected] 

Mayor Bowser’s Efforts to Reduce Recidivism in the District Gets a $1M Boost from the Bureau of Justice Assistance 

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Bowser’s initiatives to provide support for returning citizens received an award from the 2018 BJA Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategic Plan Implementation grant. This funding, known as the BJA Second Chance Act Grant, will provide the District $999,700 over two years and will allow the Bowser Administration to build upon its five year recidivism reduction strategic plan. This will help further the efforts of Mayor Bowser’s State-wide Recidivism Reduction Reentry Taskforce and The READY Center, a soon-to-be-opened station for returning citizens that will serve as a critical connection point to local and community services prior to release back in to the community. This grant will be managed by the DC Department of Corrections (DC DOC), in partnership with the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC).

“Supporting our returning citizens, which includes reducing recidivism, is one of Mayor Bowser’s top priorities as she works to provide every Washingtonian a fair shot at economic opportunity,”  said DC DOC Director, Quincy L. Booth. “We are pleased to receive the BJA Second Chance Act Grant to support our efforts in achieving her goal. In partnership with CJCC, we will be more equipped to accurately use data that will drive and inform the best and most promising practices and advance Mayor Bowser’s five year recidivism reduction strategic plan.”

As a part of Mayor Bowser’s effort to reduce recidivism in the District by 50 percent over five years, the State-wide Recidivism Reduction Reentry Taskforce (SRR) was formed during the development of the District’s strategic plan. During this process, two target populations, women and young adults, were identified as especially vulnerable to recidivism in the District. As a result, emphasis has been placed on supports for these two groups within the Mayor’s strategic plan. 

The District has identified six essential activities to initiate within the first year of implementation: 

  • Establish strong community engagement through focus groups and forums to inform decision-making, as well as enriched community messaging.
  • Enhance information sharing in the District; the SRR Taskforce will develop draft legislative language related to information sharing among District Government agencies.
  • Develop and distribute age- and gender-specific resources through the DC DOC that target the specific reentry needs of women and young adults.
  • Incorporate the use of evidence-based program evaluation to examine the effectiveness of programming, and train staff for enhanced data capture and program evaluation.
  • Evaluate the current risk and needs assessment tool to determine its efficacy for District residents.
  • Expand age- and gender-specific trauma informed care training and incorporate a Crisis Response Team in the detention facilities.

In an effort to enhance returning citizens’ success in reentering their communities, the District has also established The READY Center (Resources to Empower and Develop You). The READY Center will serve as a portal for returning citizens to access important post-release services such as housing, employment, health care, vital documents, behavioral health aftercare, and more. Partners to be co-located at The READY Center, located within the DC DOC, include the DC Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH), the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the Department of Employment Services (DOES), and the Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizens Affairs (MORCA). The READY Center is set to launch in late October 2018.
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For more information about the D.C. Department of Corrections visit www.doc.dc.gov.
Dr. Keena Blackmon
Public Information Officer
D.C. Department of Corrections
2000 14th Street, NW, Seventh Floor
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 671-2816