ATLANTA—An interdisciplinary team from Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies was awarded $1.14 million by the National Institute of Justice to conduct the first two phases of a multi-phase, multi-year impact evaluation of the Second Chance Act (SCA) prisoner reentry grant program.
The research will support the Department of Justice’s efforts to improve knowledge of promising practices in prisoner re-entry and inform the development of more effective federal efforts. Phases 1 and 2, expected to last one year, will assess SCA grantees’ readiness for impact evaluations and prepare the evaluation designs. Phase 3, pending funding availability, would implement the impact evaluation designs.
The research addresses legislative mandates set forth in Section 507 of the First Step Act of 2018, which reauthorized the SCA grant program. The act was authorized at $90 million under FY2020 appropriations, according to the National Association of Counties.
Professor William Sabol, former director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, will lead faculty and researchers from the departments of Criminal Justice & Criminology, Economics, School of Social Work and Georgia Health Policy Center. The study will determine if an outcome or impact evaluation is feasible at five sites implementing the SCA program. It also will assess the overall SCA goals to determine if the objectives are clear and if the site has a well-defined mechanism for measuring the objectives.
“This evaluation will help improve outcomes for millions of formerly incarcerated adults and juveniles, and by extension, their families, friends and communities,” Sally Wallace, dean of the Andrew Young School, said.
Read more about the study, “Assessing the Effectiveness of the Second Chance Act Grant Program through a Phased Evaluation Approach Using an Implementation Science Mixed Methods Approach,” at https://nij.ojp.gov/funding/awards/2020-cz-bx-0014.
Criminal Justice & Criminology
William J. Sabol, a professor in the Department Criminal Justice and Criminology at Georgia State University, teaches and conducts research on corrections, sentencing policy, and crime statistics. During the past 30 years, he has held positions in government, private sector research institutions, and universities, including serving as the Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and was a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University’s Institute of Criminology.