RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) has recently been awarded $1,076,623 in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Both grants were competed nationally and underwent a rigorous application and review process. They will fund projects through September 2024.
“We are making tremendous strides forward, and grants like these are an important part of our success story,” said Director Harold Clarke. “We appreciate and value our grant-partnerships which allow us to test targeted strategies for improved operations.”
The latest grant awards promote family visitation and reentry. “We are fortunate to have such success in our grant-seeking efforts. We’ve expanded many programs, as well as improved and implemented others because of grant funding,” said Scott Richeson, Deputy Director of Programs, Education and Reentry. “These newly-funded projects will improve and expand vital parts of our operations.”
“This funding will allow us to supplement proven programs, as well as implement new and creative projects that enhance the Department’s efforts to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for families, communities, and those we supervise,” said Tracey L. Jenkins, VADOC Grants Administrator.
The first grant is for $350,000 for the Child-Friendly Family Visiting Spaces in Jails and Prisons Program. The funding allows VADOC to create child-friendly family waiting and visiting spaces in more than a dozen facilities. It will also implement model practices, including reviewing visitation policies and training to support family-strengthening and other policies in the best interest of children visiting the Department’s facilities. This project builds upon the Building Family Bridges Project, originally funded with a grant award in 2018 from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
VADOC has also received a grant for $726,624 under the Second Chance Adult Reentry Education, Employment, and Recovery Program. This award allows the Department to pilot new career readiness and support approaches by focusing on students in five established welding programs and the development of a new mobile welding training program. It will also add a Business Developer, who will provide supports focusing on career and professional outcomes in the welding industry.
Additionally, VADOC has recently been awarded $928,903 in funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, through the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to continue strategies addressing opioid and stimulant use in Virginia.