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Policy and Corrections Leaders Weigh Tactics to Curb Recidivism

National Forum Brings Together 13 States Competing for “Statewide Recidivism Reduction” Grants

WASHINGTON, DC— Teams of policymakers—including governors’ advisors and corrections agency administrators from Minnesota and 12 other states—are meeting in Washington today to discuss strategies to improve success rates for people released from prison.

Representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice are joining the state leaders to highlight how the federal government can work in partnership with states to pursue cost-effective strategies that provide a strong return on investments in public safety. Hosted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), this forum brings together 13 states awarded Statewide Recidivism Reduction Planning Grants through the Second Chance Act in fiscal year 2013: Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont and West Virginia.

The Statewide Recidivism Reduction grant program is a multi-year approach intended to create state centers of excellence that can serve as national models for how to effectively reduce statewide recidivism. Upon the successful completion of their plans, the 13 grantees will be eligible to compete for implementation grants of up to $3 million to achieve their recidivism reduction plans.

“The Second Chance Act has provided a means for federal, state and local governments to work together to promote public safety in our communities,” said BJA Director Denise O’Donnell. “It is our vision that the final Statewide Recidivism Reduction grantees will become learning sites for other states desiring to implement effective recidivism reduction efforts.”

“The Statewide Recidivism Reduction Planning Grant has provided a tremendous opportunity to bring together state leaders and build on our plan to meet Governor Dayton’s goals of reduced recidivism and improved public safety,” said Minnesota Corrections Commissioner Tom Roy. “During this period of limited resources, we need to make sustainable investments in the most impactful policies and programs. In that way, an implementation grant would provide us with resources to meet our mission of reducing recidivism by promoting offender change through proven strategies during safe and secure incarceration and effective community supervision.”

The Second Chance Act has supported state and local investments in effective reentry programs for more than five years. Signed into law in 2008, legislators designed the Second Chance Act to improve outcomes for people returning to communities from prisons and jails.

Today’s forum was planned in partnership with the Council of State Governments Justice Center, Association of State Correctional Administrators, and National Governors Association.

About The Council of State Governments Justice Center

The Council of State Governments Justice Center is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that serves policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels from all branches of government. Staff provides practical, nonpartisan advice and evidence-based, consensus-driven strategies to increase public safety and strengthen communities. For more about the CSG Justice Center, please visit


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