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SBIR Phase I: Reducing Recidivism Through Technology: Connecting People Released from Incarceration to Resources and Communities in the 21st Century
Phone: (303) 548-3395
Phone: (303) 548-3395
This SBIR Phase I project proposes to reduce recidivism using a software system developed to elicit positive behavioral changes through an educational training and support system. The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with hundreds of thousands of people annually released from prison and jail and recidivism rates as high as one out of every two people released returning to incarceration within three years. The rate of recidivism impacts the cost of corrections and taxpayers in every state, diverting state dollars from programs such as higher education, transportation, and health care, while decreasing the tax base of productive workers, increasing the need for social services, and impacting public safety. In terms of human costs, re-incarceration is a personal loss for the recidivist, a waste of human potential, and a negative impact on families, neighborhoods, and communities. This project is a high-risk high-return proposal with broad society impact. It has the potential to decrease the cost of corrections for taxpayers, improve the lives of formerly incarcerated people and their families, increase the number of productive and tax-paying individuals, decrease demand on social services, and support neighborhoods, communities, and society as a whole. This project provides an educational platform specifically designed for the needs of the 97 percent of incarcerated individuals who are subsequently released from incarceration and attempting to re-enter society with minimal support from institutions or society. Registered users will have access to a user-friendly website, re-entry related curriculum and content appropriately delivered on an individualized basis, and access to an in-reach curriculum that provides users with the technological skills necessary to navigate the website and its software. Grounded in educational theory, this project will utilize trending educational efforts such as developing competency-based learning models and creating customizable educational experiences in order to develop and deliver its re-entry focused curriculum, reach isolated learners on a personal basis, create a virtual ecosystem for its specific audience, and collect feedback through a variety of mechanisms. Efficacy will be measured by tracking registered users' success upon release from incarceration using a variety of recidivism metrics. The project will be tested at the local level and then scaled to meet the national need for improved behavioral outcomes from the population of individuals re-entering society following incarceration.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *