Readout of Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon’s Participation in Inaugural Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Grantee Meeting
Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon spoke last week about the power and importance of supporting those reentering their communities from incarceration at the Second Chance Act Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Program Grantee Symposium. Solomon was joined by fellow speakers Ruby Qazilbash, Deputy Director of Policy for OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, and Megan Quattlebaum, Director of The Council of State Governments Justice Center.
In attendance were grantees who were awarded funds in FY2022 through the Improving Adult and Youth Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Program, as well as subject matter experts, including correctional case managers and discharge planners, reentry coordinators, treatment court coordinators, community mental health directors, clinicians and peer specialists. Also present were officials from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which helped design the program. Solomon noted that work in this area, including the Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Program, could not have been achieved without bipartisan support.
“A bipartisan coalition came together to address an area of great need, the mental health of people who encounter the justice system. They reached across party lines and worked together to sponsor a bill that became law in 2020 and received appropriations for the first time in 2022,” Solomon said. “It is heartening to realize even in a time of polarization, there is much we agree on, and much progress we can make together.”
The second cohort of grantees for FY 2023 were also announced at the Symposium. Solomon shared that 10 programs would be awarded grant funds, totaling almost $7.5 million. Those funds will help meet a variety of substance use and mental health needs among justice-involved individuals nationwide.
One grantee will implement a pre-arraignment diversion program to connect individuals with mental health and substance use disorders to treatment services in the community, as appropriate. Another program will expand access to peer support and culturally relevant treatment services for participants in a tribal Healing to Wellness Court.
Solomon shared several data points illustrating the impact of the Second Chance Act over its lifetime. Since 2009, BJA and OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention have made more than 1,000 Second Chance Act awards, totaling over $700 million. Through these investments, 350,000 people have received critical services such as cognitive behavioral interventions, substance use treatment, job placement and vocational training, educational opportunities, and more. As of FY 2022, BJA had delivered Second Chance Act grants to state and local agencies in 48 states.
“I know all our grantees are proposing innovative, important work that will continue transforming the fairness and effectiveness of our justice system for the better,” Solomon said.
Solomon closed her remarks congratulating the new grantees and thanking everyone in attendance, as well as colleagues from the Hill, CSG and the staff at BJA who have brought this program to life.
About the Office of Justice Programs
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance, and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime; advance equity and fairness in the administration of justice; assist victims; and uphold the rule of law. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.