Commissioner Contrada was joined at today’s announcement by Toledo Mayor Mike Bell, Northwest Ohio Reentry Coalition Chair David Kontur, Mental Health & Recovery Services of Lucas County Executive Director Scott Sylak, and CJCC Interim Executive Director Pat Wright.
“This is one of our nation’s most important grants for reentry programs,” Commissioner Contrada said. “The Second Chance Act grant provides tremendous incentive to reduce recidivism in our community—and that means a major cost savings for taxpayers.
“We know that ex-offenders who have access to housing, legal advice, and employment are more likely to get on a path to becoming law-abiding, taxpaying citizens. The Lucas County Reentry program has the potential to save our community millions of dollars, plus the invaluable costs to people who are victims of crime.”
The CJCC received $416,000 from the highly-competitive Second Chance Act Adult Reentry Demonstration grant program. Second Chance Act Grant funds are designed to help develop and implement comprehensive strategies to address the ex-offender reentry challenges that communities like Lucas County face.
The Lucas County Reentry program anticipates assisting up to 100 offenders. The program will focus on the people who are most likely to recidivate and need services the most: high-risk offenders with mental health or substance abuse issues and those at risk of becoming chronically homeless. Individualized reentry plans will promote safe and successful reintegration of offenders in this community by reducing barriers.
Participants will receive assistance in the following areas: case management, mental health services, education, employment, housing assistance, and legal services. Case managers will begin meeting with participants while they are incarcerated to ensure they are able to successfully reenter the community. After the participants are released, they will continue receiving services for up to six months.
The total program budget is $833,294, of which $416,647 is federal funds and the remainder is matching funds. Matching funds have been secured through local sources, including the City of Toledo, Lucas County , Lucas County Mental Health & Recovery Services Board, CJCC, Lucas County TASC, University of Toledo , and volunteer attorneys.
“This grant will allow our community to expand the services and supports available to men returning from incarceration, promoting their success and improving public safety,” said Dave Kontur, Northwest Ohio Reentry Coalition Chair.
The Mental Health & Recovery Services Board is a proud partner of this initiative,” Executive Director Scott Sylak said. “This grant represents a substantial opportunity to improve public safety by presenting a pathway for returning ex offenders to improve their lives and the lives of their families.”
“The reentry grant builds upon a proven protocol to provide the tools required for inmates to stop the cycle of re-arrest and re-incarceration,” said Pat Wright, Interim Executive Director of the CJCC.
The cost of incarceration per offender is approximately $23,000 each year for state and local facilities. It is estimated that cost savings could reach over one million dollars if participants in the Lucas County Reentry program are prevented from recidivating for even just one year.
“The award of the second chance grant is a strong foundation for the future of reentry initiatives in Lucas County,” stated Commissioner Contrada. “I congratulate the grants team, including Holly Matthews, Demi Heiks, and Tom McCarter, who drew on the reentry coalition’s previous successes while developing a sustainable plan for the future.”