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Innovations in Reentry Initiative: Building System Capacity and Testing Strategies to Reduce Recidivism


Additional Links

Notice of Funding Opportunity (


Application Deadline: Jun 14, 2021

Sponsoring Organization

Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)


Awards funding to state, local, and tribal jurisdictions to strengthen reentry systems for justice-involved individuals, with the goal of reducing violence and recidivism. Supports the assessment of reentry systems in order to identify gaps in service and improve the quality of reentry programs. Works to build capacity through the implementation and expansion of programs and services that address barriers to successful reentry in key areas such as housing, education, and employment and promotes proper screening, assessment, and referral to treatment to meet the behavioral health needs of individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) and/or mental health disorders.

Projects are implemented in 3 phases over a 4-year grant period:

  • Phase 1 - Planning: Up to 12 months with access to $75,000 of the grant award to conduct assessments and complete an action plan to improve the reentry system
  • Phase 2 - Implementation: 24 months to test strategies and enact proposals detailed in the action plan
  • Phase 3 - Evaluation and Sustainability: 12 months to track recidivism and other outcomes and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the project

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling: $1,000,000
Project period: 48 months
Estimated number of awards: 4
Estimated total program funding: $4,000,000

Applicants must provide matching funds for 50% of the total project cost from non-federal sources. In addition, at least 50% of the matching contribution must be a cash match, while the remaining portion of the matching funds may be in-kind contributions.

In some cases, the matching requirement may be waived due to fiscal hardship. Applicants must request a match waiver and demonstrate fiscal hardship in their grant application. Additional information regarding match waivers can be found in the funding announcement.

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants include:

  • State governments
  • City, township, or county governments
  • Federally recognized Indian tribal governments

In order to be eligible for an Innovations in Reentry Initiative grant, applicants must meet the Second Chance Act mandatory requirements.

Program-specific priority consideration is given to applicants who plan to:

  • Reduce violent recidivism among medium and high-risk offenders through validated assessment tools
  • Target offenders with histories of homelessness, substance abuse, or mental illness
  • Improve reentry-related services in geographic areas with disproportionately large numbers of reentrants
  • Use randomized controlled trial methods to assess the effectiveness of programs and practices

Policy priority funding is given to applicants who propose projects that will promote civil rights, increase access to justice, support crime victims, protect the public from crime and evolving threats, and build trust between law enforcement and the community.

To receive priority consideration, applicants must provide a sufficient narrative explanation describing how their project will advance work in one or more of the priority areas listed above.

Priority is also given to applicants who propose projects to benefit individuals in high-poverty areas or persistent-poverty counties.

To receive a poverty priority consideration, applicants must provide information to demonstrate that the individuals who are intended to benefit from the requested grant reside in high-poverty areas or persistent poverty counties.

For this funding opportunity, high-poverty areas are described as any census tract with a poverty rate of at least 20%, as measured by the 2013-2017 5-year data series from the American Community Survey. Persistent poverty counties are described as any county that has had 20% or more of its population living in poverty over the past 30 years, as measured by the 1990 and 2000 decennial censuses and the most recent Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates.

In fiscal year (FY) 2021, all state, local, and university and college law enforcement agencies must be certified by an approved independent credentialing body or have started the certification process in order to be eligible for grant funding.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Capacity Building • New Program • Operating Costs and Staffing

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and other information about the online application process can be found in the funding announcement.

In FY 2021, there is a new two-step application submission process. To be considered timely, the applicant must have received a validation message from the submission and the full application must be submitted in JustGrants by the respective deadlines.

  • Step 1: Applicants will submit an SF-424 and an SF-LLL in by the June 14, 2021 deadline.
  • Step 2: Applicants will submit the full application, including attachments, in the JustGrants grants management system by the June 28, 2021 deadline.


For questions on submitting in

For questions on submitting in JustGrants:

For programmatic and technical questions:
National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center
TTY at 301-240-6310
Live chat

Topics This Program Addresses

Community Supervision • Crime Reduction • Justice System • Mental Health • Substance Use Disorder • Treatment • Violence, Trauma, and Abuse