September 13, 2013

Portman Efforts Lead to Second Chance Grant to Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry

Second Chance Act Reintegrates Prisoners into Their Communities

Washington, D.C. – The Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry today was awarded a grant to continue funding the Adult Reentry Demonstration Program: Planning and Implementation, made possible by the Second Chance Act, which then-Congressman Rob Portman (R-OH) authored with former Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-OH).  Under Portman’s leadership, the Second Chance Act was first enacted in 2007, providing resources and support to local corrections agencies, nonprofits, education institutions, service providers, and families to help offenders reintegrate into their communities.  The Second Chance Act has successfully helped to significantly reduce recidivism across the United States. Ohio has seen a double-digit decline in recent years.

Additionally, Senator Portman sent a letter to Denise O’Donnell, Director of Office of Justice Programs in June 2013 on behalf of the Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry in support of this grant.

Portman continues to work on reauthorization on the Second Chance Act in the 113th Congress to improve existing assistance programs to help state and local authorities more successfully reintegrate prisoners into their communities and reduce the rate of repeat offenses.

“Second Chance Act programs have a proven record of helping people turn their lives around and become productive members of society,” said Portman. “The Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry plays a key and invaluable role in lowering recidivism rates in Northeast Ohio by working with other reentry coalitions and the faith based community organizations.”

“We truly appreciate the strong support that Senator Portman continues to demonstrate as a champion of the Second Chance Act.  He truly recognizes the importance of assisting people who want to change and lead productive lives,” said Luis Vazquez, Program Director, Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry. “The Senator understands that the Second Chance Act is so much more than a ‘safety net’ program; it is an investment in human capital that can pay economic (cost saving) and non-economic (stronger families, safer communities) for generations.”     

The letter appears below and here.

June 5, 2013

Ms. Denise E. O’Donnell, J.D.
Office of Justice Programs
U.S. Department of Justice
810 Seventh Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20531

Dear Director O’Donnell,

I write to bring to your attention the competitive grant application submitted by the Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry for continuation funding in the Adult Offender Reentry Program for Planning and Demonstration Projects.

I understand the county’s program would expand its program to provide pre- and post-release services to 150 ex-offenders who are returning to live in Cuyahoga County, especially targeting moderate- and high-risk men and women who plan to reside within neighborhoods in Cleveland where a high number of ex-offenders return.  Partnering with Community Assessment and Treatment Services and Community Re-entry, Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry seeks to deliver case management services to returning individuals, which would include linking them to services including job training, housing, substance abuse treatment, and health care.

Funding would help to assist individuals with community integration, reducing recidivism among the offender population.  Please give all due consideration to this request.  If there are any questions, please contact my grant coordinator, Linda Greenwood, at (419) 259-3895. Thank you.