RALEIGH, NC (WNCT) – The NC Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) has received a $1.16 million grant to expand a program that helps incarcerated youth have successful lives after they’re released.

In an announcement on Monday, state officials said the Federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has awarded NCDPS with a 2019 Second Chance Act Grant, worth $1.16 million, for the expansion, adaptation, and evaluation of the Juvenile Justice section’s Youth Reentry Program.

The Youth Reentry Program, also known as Reentry to Resiliency (R2R), was started with grant funding in 2016 as a partnership with Communities in Schools of North Carolina (CISNC) in four counties:  Wake, Durham, Guilford, and Cumberland.”

The new funding will enable the expansion of the program to Nash and Mecklenburg counties and will help officials have adapted the program model to better meet the needs of the transition-age young people who will be served by the juvenile justice system when the age of juvenile jurisdiction increases to 18 in December 2019.

The program pairs justice-involved youths and their families with Youth Success Coaches, who help the children transition successfully from confinement in a youth development center back into their communities and schools.

In addition to expanding the counties served and adapting the programming to older juveniles, this new infusion of grant funding will allow Juvenile Justice to work in partnership with the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) to rigorously evaluate the program’s fidelity, performance measures, long-term outcomes, and future needs.