Concordance Receives First Federal Grant Ahead of National Expansion

Concordance, a CARF accredited, re-entry nonprofit headquartered in St. Louis, announced today that it has secured its first federal grant. Through the Department of Justice’s Second Chance Act, Concordance was awarded $900,000 to support services across their re-entry program.

The Department of Justice’s Second Chance Act provides funding to innovative education, employment, treatment, and recovery programs across the country. Concordance will receive grant funding for its holistic, integrated, and evidence-informed wrap-around services and programming, inclusive of substance use treatment, case management, job education and training, and medically assisted treatment.

“The breadth of services the Second Chance Act grant covers within our program is a positive indication that the re-entry landscape is changing,” said Michelle Smith, Concordance President & COO. “As we prepare for our national expansion, this grant provides validity that our model is working.”

“Having enrolled over 1,100 participants to date, we’ve lowered the rate of reincarceration by 56% among our participants who have released from prison in the last three years. Our healing-first approach prepares participants to take on life’s challenges by addressing and treating the root cause – trauma. While this journey is often non-linear, we are proud to walk alongside participants as they navigate the difficult road of re-entry.”

More than a decade ago, high recidivism rates were the norm for people being released from prison and jail. Incarceration rates soared, and many correctional facilities were at or above capacity. Institutional priorities were focused primarily on incapacitation and security and less on treatment, rehabilitation, and skill building.

Recently, however, a movement built on extensive research and the tireless efforts of local leaders and programs across the country has begun to change the nation’s perception of re-entry. Today, policymakers, corrections officials, and other leaders champion efforts to proactively reduce reoffending to promote public safety, strengthen collaboration across agencies, and build stronger communities.

“Successful re-entry means more than just helping an individual find employment and housing upon release,” said Jennifer Loeffler-Cobia, director of the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC), which provides research and support for re-entry practitioners across the country through funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). “It is about helping individuals change their attitudes and beliefs about crime, providing mentorship, offering educational opportunities, and connecting them with positive relational networks and community resources. The NRRC supports successful re-entry through the provision of information and resources to both re-entry practitioners and individuals returning to the community from incarceration and their families.”

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