DOJ awards Navajo Nation $200k to help 150 clients

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FARMINGTON — A Navajo Nation program that assists former inmates with their integration back into society has been awarded a federal grant.

The Navajo Nation Probation and Parole Services will receive $200,000 from a grant under the Second Chance Act, a grant program funded and administered by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs.

The Navajo Nation Judicial Branch administers probation and parole services, and announced the award in a press release this week.

Raquel Chee, grants administrator for the judicial branch, wrote in an email that this is the first time the tribal program has received the grant.

As a grant recipient, the program will develop a comprehensive strategic plan to enhance community supervision practices to improve public safety, reduce recidivism and increase job readiness for individuals returning from incarceration, the release states.

Chee wrote that the program plans to serve 100 clients who return from facilities operated by the Navajo Department of Corrections, and 50 clients released from state and federal correctional facilities.

She added the program will focus on services provided in Kayenta, Arizona; and Aneth, Utah.

The tribe will work with the National Reentry Resource Center throughout the planning and implementation of the grant, the release states. The National Reentry Resource Center was established by the Second Chance Act.

The act was signed into law in April 2008. It authorizes federal grants to nonprofit organizations and to state, local and tribal governments to provide re-entry services and to support corrections and supervision practices that focus on reducing relapses into criminal behavior, according to the center's website.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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