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Improving Reentry for Adults with Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

Grants to USA Agencies and Tribes for Reentry Services for
Those with Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Disorders

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

06/18/18 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA government agencies and Indian tribes to offer reentry programs and services to incarcerated individuals with co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorders. Applicants are advised to verify or create the required registrations well in advance of the deadline date.


The Improving Reentry for Adults with Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Program is designed to improve access to and delivery of services to offenders with co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness when they leave incarceration to reenter the community. BJA recognizes that a significant number of these adult offenders are in need of treatment in order to successfully complete their supervision, which in turn will reduce recidivism and promote public safety. Coordination among corrections, substance abuse and mental health treatment providers, correctional health, and parole or probation enables the development of collaborative comprehensive case plans that address criminogenic risk, substance abuse, and mental health needs.

Program-specific Information:

The focus of the Improving Reentry for Adults with Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Program is to provide standardized screening and assessment; collaborative comprehensive case management; and pre- and post-release programming that address criminogenic risk and needs, including mental illness and substance abuse.

BJA is seeking applications to implement or expand systems approaches to improve outcomes for adults with co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness who are reentering communities following incarceration. The expectation is that jail or prison systems will develop or refine a standardized screening process for all offenders in the correctional facility. The jail or prison systems will also make assessments for co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse during incarceration and prior to an offenders release to the community.

Further, community-based treatment providers must coordinate with corrections, correctional health, parole, and probation, as applicable, to develop collaborative comprehensive case plans to aid in the reentry process. The collaborative comprehensive case plan model was developed specifically for SCA grantees and outlines best and promising practices for case management. Below is an example of a Correctional Facility Lead Case Planner and the entities necessary for coordination, in order to develop a collaborative comprehensive case plan. The web-based tool provides information on what information the lead case planner should provide and receive from each partner agency.

Objectives and Deliverables:

The purpose of the program is to increase corrections systems’ ability to address the needs of offenders with co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness in order to reduce recidivism, and improve public safety and public health.

The objectives of the program are:
-Standardize screening processes for mental illness and substance abuse using a validated tool for all offenders entering the correctional facility (e.g., booking, intake, or classifications).
-Provide assessments for mental illness and substance abuse prior to a person’s release from the corrections facility.
-Provide evidence-based pre- and post-release mental illness and substance abuse treatment and cognitive behavioral interventions to address criminogenic risk factors.
-Develop collaborative comprehensive case plans that incorporate information from the criminogenic risk assessment and mental illness and substance abuse assessments.
-Create a performance measurement plan that outlines who is responsible for data collection, input, and analysis.

Allowable program activities include:
-Screening and assessment for substance abuse and mental illness and validated risk
assessment while the person is in prison or jail.
-Providing treatment for co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness while the person is in prison or jail, including integrated dual diagnosis treatment.
-Pre-release and post-release collaborative comprehensive case planning.
-Case management.
-Providing linkages to other wraparound or recovery support services, including health care coverage, employment, education, housing and life skills training, and post-release treatment and aftercare programming in the community, which may include parole, probation, or court supervision with specialized caseloads.

Program Design Phases and Elements:

Grantees will be expected to complete a planning phase that requires working with BJA’s technical assistance provider and approval from BJA before activity may begin on the full implementation of their programs.

Planning Phase:

While the planning design elements must be described in the application, BJA expects that some elements may already be in the preliminary stages of development at the time of the application. The planning phase will be used to work toward being able to address the eight program design elements in the implementation phase. The following are the planning design elements that applicants must address:

-Completion and Submission of the Planning and Implementation Guide. Grantees will receive intensive technical assistance and will be allowed to access up to $150,000 of the total grant award in order to complete and submit a required Planning and Implementation Guide to be provided by the BJA technical assistance provider—the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC)—which will guide each grantee in developing a plan for systems enhancements that incorporates evidence- based programs, policies, practices, data collection, and ongoing monitoring. The Planning and Implementation Guide must be completed in coordination with the technical assistance provider and then receive final approval by BJA. Grantees will have 12 months to complete the Planning and Implementation Guide.

-Advisory Group Meetings. During the planning phase, there must be meetings with an advisory group with high level leaders within the criminal justice and behavioral health systems.

Allowable uses for award funds during the planning phase include:

-Plan Meetings: Grantees will convene planning meetings that include criminal justice, mental health, and substance abuse partners to discuss the planning design elements. A planning team should be created in order to increase stakeholder engagement and develop partnerships that will assist in implementation. This can include creating or using an existing advisory group. Leaders may include department of corrections directors, department of behavioral health directors, chief probation or parole officers, sheriffs, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Medicaid or insurance commissioners, social service agency directors, and corrections health providers or other contracted entities providing medical services in the facility.

-Outline Screening and Assessment Processes: The planning team will create an outline of the screening and assessment processes in the correctional facility. If the grantee has not selected any screening and assessment instruments for criminogenic risk, substance abuse, and mental illness, they can select validated tools as a part of the planning process. For grantees that have validated screening and assessment tools in place, they will develop a process flow chart to indicate how offenders will be identified to receive co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness services.

-Create Case Management Protocols: Grantees will choose a lead case planner who will be responsible for the coordination. The lead case manager will work with the partners to outline a process for information sharing, case conferencing, and access to health and other benefits.

-Build Information-Sharing Protocols: Grantees will develop information-sharing protocols that will provide guidelines on what information is to be shared with which partners. This information should assist with developing collaborative comprehensive case plans and describe the roles of different partner agencies (e.g. corrections, parole, probation, housing, mental health provider, and substance abuse treatment provider(s)).

-Select and Incorporate Evidence-Based Practices (EBPs) To Address Criminogenic Risk, Mental Illness, and Substance Abuse: Grantees will select, plan for the implementation of, and put in place quality assurance processes for EBPs to address criminogenic risk and co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse.

Grantees will:
a. Select cognitive behavioral health interventions to address criminogenic risk that will be provided in the corrections facility.
b. Provide pre- and post-release co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse treatment.
Applicants are encouraged to provide evidenced-based pharmacological drug treatment services such as medication-assisted treatment to address alcohol and opioid abuse.

-Decide on Recovery Support Services Options: Grantees will work with the planning or advisory group to select and plan for a comprehensive range of recovery support services that can be provided through partnerships as the offender reenters the community. Grantees will review the options in the community and develop partnerships to provide a range of options (e.g. housing, employment, vocational services, etc.).

-Begin Performance Measurement and Plan for Evaluation: Grantees will develop a plan for performance measurement and evaluation that clearly outlines who is responsible for data collection, input, and analysis, including:

a. Work with the evaluator or data lead on the team to outline the performance measures that will be collected in the implementation phase. Start with the measures already being used and think through additional measures to match with program objectives.

b. Coordinate with the evaluator or data lead to actively participate in the planning or advisory group. Work with the group to set standards for regular reports back to the program team on process and outcome measures during the implementation phase of the grant.

c. As part of performance measurement, consider using process measures related to implementation fidelity for evidence-based practices. This will help BJA measure the success of the work over the grant period and beyond.

Implementation Phase:

During the implementation phase, grantees will address the following eight design elements:

(1) Continue Leadership Engagement through the advisory group as well as provide data reports to update leaders on the progress of building systems level efforts to address co- occurring substance abuse and mental illness, including:
a. Provide regular updates on program implementation progress and data.
b. Work with leadership to resolve implementation issues and develop a sustainability plan.

(2) Conduct Screening for mental illness and substance abuse for all offenders who enter the corrections facility, including:
a. Use a validated mental illness screening tool, substance abuse screening tool, and/or co-occurring screening tool.
b. Monitor the screening process in order to enhance training and streamline referral processes.
c. Put in place quality assurance mechanisms to ensure the screening of every offender in the corrections facility will continue after the grant period has ended.

(3) Conduct Assessments, including:
a. Use criminogenic risk and needs assessment tools that are reliable and validated and address static and dynamic factors in order to increase the chances that offenders will be matched with the appropriate type of treatment and reentry services.6 This will enable grantees to target offenders who are at moderate to high risk to reoffend.
b. Assess for co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse using validated tools.
c. Receipt of assessment or other relevant information should be provided by the correctional health or other contracted medical or behavioral health provider in the corrections facility and be incorporated in the collaborative comprehensive case plan.

(4) Provide Collaborative Comprehensive Case Plans, including:
a. Utilization of criminogenic risk and co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness assessment information to develop the case plan.
b. Consistent monitoring and refinement of the collaborative comprehensive case plan process.
c. Meetings among partners (e.g. corrections, parole, probation, and treatment providers) to ensure each program participant has a plan to connect pre- and post- release co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse treatment in an integrated manner (see Appendix B for information on the Integrated Care Model).
d. Continued review of the recovery support services needed as the offender reenters the community.
e. Ongoing monitoring of access to health care and other benefits (Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability [SSI/SSDI], Medicaid, veterans benefits, food stamps).
f. Development of written protocols for reviewing the case plan and updating the information.

(5) Engage in Information Sharing, including follow-up and continued monitoring of information-sharing policies and procedures to ensure that collaborative comprehensive case plans can be developed.
a. Continue refinement of information-sharing protocols

(6) Use Evidence-based Practices for Criminogenic Risk, Mental Illness, and Substance Abuse, including:
a. Provide substance abuse and mental illness treatment practices and services that have a demonstrated evidence base and that are appropriate for the target population pre- and post-release Applicantsshouldidentifytheevidence-basedpracticebeingproposedfor implementation; identify and discuss the evidence for effectiveness; discuss the population(s) for which this practice has been shown to be effective; and discuss how staff can be trained and coached to implement the EBP in their systems.
b. Provide evidence-based pharmacological drug treatment services. Applicants are encouraged to utilize pharmacological drug treatment services or medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT is supported and considered an evidence-based substance abuse treatment protocol. BJA supports the option for offenders to have access to appropriate MAT under the care and prescription of the appropriate prescriber.
c. Provide cognitive behavioral interventions that address criminogenic risk and needs, such as criminal thinking, and provide guidance on incorporating them into case plans
d. Provide training for staff and continued monitoring for the implementation of the EBPs for criminogenic risk, including mental illness and substance abuse.

(7) Support a Comprehensive Range of Recovery Support Services. A comprehensive range of recovery supports should be available that address cognitive, behavioral, and social needs and cognitive restructuring. Recovery support services can include education, literacy, vocational, and job placement services; supported employment; housing and physical health care services; veteran-specific services, as applicable; services to encourage safe, healthy, and responsible family and parent-child relationships; mentoring; and supportive housing.
a. This can also include the use of peer recovery support specialists or peer mentors.
b. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) should be in place with housing partners wherever possible. Partnerships with housing services agencies should include a data-sharing agreement, and grant-funded activities should include screening program participants for housing needs, risk of homelessness, and/or chronic homelessness status.

(8) Provide Performance Measurement and Evaluation. Grantees will build on the performance measurement plan developed in the planning phase, including:
a. Follow and refine the plan for performance measurement and evaluation that clearly outlines who is responsible for data collection, input, and analysis.
b. Work closely with an identified research or evaluation partner to meet on a regular basis, provide feedback on process and outcome measures, and assist in the development of materials for the advisory board meetings.
c. Develop processes for continuous quality improvement to monitor the implementation of screening, assessment, case plans, and EBPs.
d. Focus on the ability to collect pre- and post-release data on initiation, engagement, retention, and continuity of care.
e. Demonstrate baseline recidivism data exists for the target population and that there is a mechanism to track recidivism data for the cohort going forward, including: i. Provide a baseline recidivism rate specifically for the proposed target population, including documentation to support the development of the rate. ii. Collect participant unique identifiers, and collect and report recidivism indicator data.

Priority Consideration:

BJA will give priority to applicants that demonstrate they can provide integrated treatment for substance abuse and mental illness, knowing that integrated treatment produces better outcomes.


The National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC): BJA funds and provides oversight of the NRRC, which provides training and technical assistance (TTA) to Second Chance Act grantees. NRRC provides education and TTA to states, tribes, territories, local governments, service providers, nonprofit organizations, and corrections institutions working on reentry. Each grantee will be assigned a TTA coordinator who will provide assistance in planning and implementing their programs.

Collaborative Comprehensive Case Plan Web-based Tool: The NRRC developed the collaborative comprehensive case plan web-based tool specifically in response to the needs of previous SCA grantees. This tool provides 10 key priorities for developing collaborative comprehensive case plans, guidance on case planning information needed from partners (e.g., housing providers, participants, medical providers). There are also sections with tailored content for lead case planners whether they be behavioral health treatment providers, corrections, parole, or probation. The 10 key priorities include: interagency collaboration and information sharing; staff training; screening and assessment; case conference procedures; participant engagement; prioritized needs and goals; responsivity; legal information; participant strengths; and gender considerations.

Behavioral Health Framework for Adults Under Correctional Supervision: For a compilation of research regarding targeted programming for offenders with behavioral health needs in jails or prisons, see: Adults with Behavioral Health Needs under Correctional Supervision: A Shared Framework for Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Recovery. The framework is designed to reduce recidivism and behavioral health problems among offenders under correctional control, parole, or probation by making the most effective use of scarce resources to improve outcomes for those offenders and ensure officer safety.

Process Measures at the Interface Between Justice and Behavioral Health Systems: Advancing Practice and Outcomes: These are client and systems-level process measures intended to gauge how well the justice and behavioral health systems are collaboratively addressing offenders’ behavioral health needs. The measures are designed to track offenders as they move through the reentry process from pre- to post-release as they received co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness services.

Evidence-based Programs or Practices:

OJP strongly emphasizes the use of data and evidence in policy making and program development in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.

OJP is committed to:
-Improving the quantity and quality of evidence OJP generates.
-Integrating evidence into program, practice, and policy decisions within OJP and the field.
-Improving the translation of evidence into practice.

OJP considers programs and practices to be evidence-based when their effectiveness has been demonstrated by causal evidence, generally obtained through one or more outcome evaluations. Causal evidence documents a relationship between an activity or intervention (including technology) and its intended outcome, including measuring the direction and size of a change, and the extent to which a change may be attributed to the activity or intervention. Causal evidence depends on the use of scientific methods to rule out, to the extent possible, alternative explanations for the documented change. The strength of causal evidence, based on the factors described above, will influence the degree to which OJP considers a program or practice to be evidence-based.

Information Regarding Potential Evaluation of Programs and Activities:

The Department of Justice has prioritized the use of evidence-based programming and deems it critical to continue to build and expand the evidence informing criminal and juvenile justice programs to reach the highest level of rigor possible. Therefore, applicants should note that the Office of Justice Programs may conduct or support an evaluation of the programs and activities funded under this solicitation. Recipients and sub-recipients will be expected to cooperate with program-related assessments or evaluation efforts, including through the collection and provision of information or data requested by OJP (or its designee) for the assessment or evaluation of any activities and/or outcomes of those activities funded under this solicitation. The information or data requested may be in addition to any other financial or performance data already required under this program.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183593

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

BJA expects to make up to 12 awards.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $750,000

Term of Contract:

BJA expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2018.


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are limited to states, units of local government, and federally recognized Indian tribes (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior).

Mandatory Certification: This program provides for treatment and reentry services for people with co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness returning to the community from incarceration. All applicants must certify that any treatment program proposed in their applications is or will be clinically appropriate and will provide comprehensive integrated substance abuse and mental illness treatment. Also, applicants must provide official documentation that all collaborating service provider organizations are in compliance with all the requirements for licensing, accreditation, and certification, including state, local (city and county), and tribal requirements, as appropriate. If provider organizations are not yet known, this information must be provided post-award.

If the applicant is not the Single State Agency (SSA) for Substance Abuse Services, the applicant must demonstrate that the application has been developed in consultation with the SSA.

Note: Assessing the outcomes of programs funded under the Second Chance Act is a BJA priority. Applicants should not apply for funding if they cannot track unique identifiers for the target population, gain access to recidivism data, and report recidivism data, particularly returns to incarceration during the period 1 year after release. Chief executives from applicant organizations must sign and submit an assurance that all recidivism indicator data will be collected and submitted. Applications that do not include an assurance from the applicant agency’s chief executive to collect and submit recidivism indicator data will not be considered. See Appendix D: Mandatory Chief Executive Assurance To Collect and Report Recidivism Indicator Data on page 47 for more information.

All recipients and subrecipients (including any for-profit organization) must forgo any profit or management fee. BJA welcomes applications under which two or more entities would carry out the federal award; however, only one entity may be the applicant. Any others must be proposed as subrecipients (subgrantees). The applicant must be the entity that would have primary responsibility for carrying out the award, including administering the funding and managing the entire program. Under this solicitation, only one application by any particular applicant entity will be considered. An entity may, however, be proposed as a subrecipient (“subgrantee”) in more than one application.

BJA may elect to fund applications submitted under this FY 2018 solicitation in future fiscal years, dependent on, among other considerations, the merit of the applications and on the availability of appropriations.

Unallowable Uses for Award Funds:

In addition to the unallowable costs identified in the DOJ Grants Financial Guide, award funds may not be used for:
-Prizes/rewards/entertainment/trinkets (or any type of monetary incentive)
-Client stipends
-Gift cards
-Food and beverage

Pre-proposal Conference:

A webinar is scheduled for 5/24/2018, 2:00 - 3:30 PM ET.

In this webinar, representatives from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Reentry Resource Center will review the FY18 Improving Reentry for Adults with Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Illness application process.

More information may be found here:

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants must acquire a unique entity identifier (currently, a DUNS number). Obtaining a DUNS number is a free, one-time activity. A DUNS number is usually received within 1-2 business days.

Applicants must acquire or maintain registration with SAM. Each applicant must update or renew its SAM registration at least annually to maintain an active status. SAM registration and renewal can take as long as 10 business days to complete (2 more weeks to acquire an EIN).

Applicants must register with prior to submitting an application.

An application cannot be successfully submitted in until receives the SAM registration information. Once the SAM registration/renewal is complete, the information transfer from SAM to can take as long as 48 hours. OJP recommends that the applicant register or renew registration with SAM as early as possible.

All applications are due by 11:59 PM eastern time on June 18, 2018.

To be considered timely, an application must be submitted by the application deadline using, and the applicant must have received a validation message from that indicates successful and timely submission.

OJP urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the application due date, to allow time for the applicant to receive validation messages or rejection notifications from, and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification.

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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs. Customer Support Hotline:
Phone: 800-518-4726 / 606-545-5035

National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center:
Toll-free: 1-800-851-3420
TTY: 301-240-6310 (hearing impaired only)
Fax: 301-240-5830
Web Chat:

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Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming