Overview and Inventory of HHS Efforts to Assist Incarcerated and Reentering Individuals and their Families . Projects in Support of the Prisoner Reentry Initiative (PRI)


Type of Activity: Demonstration Projects

Funding Mechanism: Discretionary grants under section 1115 of the Social Security Act. Grant awards represent 29 percent of total costs; state grantees provide 5 percent; the remaining 66 percent is regular FFP.

Total Available Funding: $2,753,748 is available in total project funds (the sum of the 29 percent grant award of $798,587, state 5-percent contribution of $137,687 and 66-percent FFP of $1,817,473).

Number of Awards: 7

Award Amount over the 3-year Period: $395,982 (Average)

$148,920 - $517,241 (Range)

Length of Project Period: 3 years; September 2009 - September 2012

Federal Partners: State grantees

Summary: OCSE awarded grants to child support enforcement agencies in states in which PRI projects were funded in 2007 or 2008 through the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and United States Department of Labor (DOL). Child support agencies were invited to submit proposals that provided child support services in support of the PRI projects in their state.

Grantees have discretion to provide services meeting the pre- and/or post-release needs of their targeted clientele. Among services provided: educating participants on the value of both parents connecting emotionally with their child, the importance of financially supporting their child and successful communication methods; providing information about child support obligations and case management to address offenders’ arrearage and monthly payments; establishing court-ordered paternity; conducting conflict resolution and co-parent education; removing barriers that reentering parents face with respect to the payment of current child support while improving their family connections through partnerships with public, private, and faith-based organizations; finding employment.

Background: Many parents in the child support caseload have a criminal background and, in FY 2007, 16 to 18 percent of child support arrears were held by incarcerated or recently released obligors.  These reasons and others argued for a partnership among OCSE, DOJ and DOL that would help noncustodial parents address their child support case issues and reduce recidivism by helping recently released offenders find work and access to other critical services in their communities.

Current grantees:

Florida Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement; Iowa Department of Human Services, Child Support Recovery Unit; Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services; State of Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement Division; Minnesota Department of Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division; Ohio Office of Child Support; Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Support Services; Tennessee Department of Human Service, Child Support Services

For a summary of each PRI application visit: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/grants/abstracts/fy2009_1115_abstracts.html

Location(s) of Projects: Florida (Duval County); Iowa (Second Judicial District-22 counties); Kansas (Lansing Correctional Facility); Minnesota (Minneapolis and St. Paul); Ohio (Franklin County); Oklahoma (Tulsa); and Tennessee (Davidson County).

Evaluation Activities: Each grant conducts its own process and outcome evaluation. Final reports are expected by the end of January, 2013.

Future Prospects: Special one-time appropriation.


Shirley Decker
Discretionary Grants Coordinator
OCSE/Division of State, Tribal and Local Assistance
Phone: (202) 401-5291

Michael Ginns
Region I
Phone: (617) 565-1578
Email:  michael.ginns@acf.hhs.gov

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