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Second Chance Act: Adult Reentry Education, Employment, Treatment and Recovery Program


Additional Links

Notice of Funding Opportunity (


Application Deadline: Jun 22, 2021

Sponsoring Organization

Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)


Offers grant funding to assist corrections systems in providing evidence-based treatment and recovery services for offenders with substance use disorders (SUD) both while they are incarcerated and during reentry into society. Expands education and employment programs for general inmate populations to enhance individuals' ability to obtain employment upon release from incarceration. Supports efforts to reduce recidivism, promote recovery, and improve public health and safety by addressing education, employment, substance use, and related issues among incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals.

Program consists of three funding categories:

  • Category 1: Improving Correctional Education grants to implement or expand educational and vocational programs that improve educational outcomes, such as literacy attainment, high school equivalence, high school and higher education diplomas, certifications, and other credentials
  • Category 2: Improving Employment Services and Connections grants to implement or expand educational and vocational programs that increase job readiness, employment attainment, and retention
  • Category 3: Improving Substance Use Treatment Services and Supports for Adults with Substance Use Disorders grants to enhance substance use treatment services to offenders in prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities, including family-based treatment programs for incarcerated parents of minor children and pregnant women

Category 3 grants require the following statutorily mandated project components for all applicants.

  • Standardize screening and assessment processes, using a validated tool, to identify substance use disorders for individuals entering a correctional facility
  • Provide evidence-based substance use and cognitive behavioral interventions to address criminogenic risk factors before and after release from incarceration
  • Establish medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as part of any drug treatment program offered in a prison or jail
  • Collect and use data to assess outcomes and the overall effectiveness of treatment programs funded through this opportunity

Category 3 prison-based programs are required to implement the following additional project components.

  • Integrate strategies to evaluate the abilities and needs of immediate and extended family members to support a treatment plan for an incarcerated parent
  • Ensure all program participants have access to consistent and uninterrupted care if transferred to a different correctional facility or other relevant entity
  • Locate the program in an area separate from the general prison population

Additional information regarding program objectives, deliverables, and allowable uses of funds can be found in the funding announcement.

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling: $900,000 per year

Estimated number of awards:

  • Category 1: 7 awards
  • Category 2: 8 awards
  • Category 3: 12 awards

Project period: 36 months
Estimated total program funding: $24,300,000

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants include:

  • State and territorial governments
  • City, township, or county governments
  • Federally recognized Indian tribal governments
  • Nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status, other than institutions of higher education

Nonprofit organizations and other non-correctional applicants must include a memorandum of agreement or understanding (MOA or MOU) with their application that clearly demonstrates an established, collaborative relationship with a correctional agency that oversees a correctional facility or a community corrections program.

Category 2 applicants can receive priority consideration for proposals that address one or more of the following areas:

  • Provide assessment of local demand for employment in geographic areas to which offenders are likely to return
  • Conduct individualized reentry career planning upon the start of incarceration or post-release employment planning for each offender served under the grant
  • Demonstrate connections to employers within the local community
  • Track and monitor employment outcomes

Priority 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 22, 2021 deadline.
  • Step 2: Applicants will submit the full application, including attachments, in the JustGrants grants management system by the July 6, 2021 deadline.

Applicant webinar recording, slides, and transcript


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

Rural Awards

Past awards communities received in fiscal year (FY) 2020 can be found on the program website.

One rural community who received funding is the Mountain Comprehensive Care Center, Inc. in Prestonsburg, Kentucky.

Topics This Program Addresses

Community Supervision • Crime Reduction • Education and Training • Employment • Justice System • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) • Mental Health • Recovery • Substance Use Disorder • Treatment