Sept. 22: Action Alert! Congress is working now to decide on funding for the 2012 fiscal year, which begins on October 1. In a potential blow for reentry programs across the country, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill last week that would eliminate funding for the Second Chance Act in FY 2012.For its part, the House version of the legislation, approved this summer, would provide $70 million for the Second Chance Act in FY12.
Congressional leaders will be meeting over the coming weeks to come to agreement on funding levels, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has pledged to work to restore Second Chance Act funding through the conference process. That’s why we need your help now; Call your senators and representatives and ask them to restore funding for this critical legislation! Follow this link for the full alert.
Contact this person Mark L. O’Brien
Criminal Justice Policy Associate (202) 544-5478 / email@example.com to let him and his organization be aware that sex offenders are not included in this act? Just a simple email to let them know that their intention is good but they also have to know that if we are going to give chance to people…then EVERYONE must and should be included.
If they are lobbying for this act to be passed, I think we should in some way collaborate with them to also lobby to include sex offenders in it
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Mark L. O’Brien
Criminal Justice Policy Associate
(202) 544-5478 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Urgent Update! Federal Action Alert: Second Chance Act
(To read this on our website, please follow this link.) http://lac.org/index.php/blog/federal_policy_update_second_chance_act
As many of you know, LAC and the National H.I.R.E. Network have long supported the Second Chance Act federal reentry legislation
(please see our SCA page to learn more). http://www.lac.org/index.php/lac/334
With recent developments in Washington, we need your help to ensure its continued success.
Second Chance Funding
Most critically, Congress is working now to decide on funding for the 2012 fiscal year, which begins on October 1. In a potential blow for reentry programs across the country, the Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved a bill that would eliminate funding for the Second Chance Act in FY 2012. For its part, the House version of the legislation, approved this summer, would provide $70 million for the Second Chance Act in FY12.
Congressional leaders are expected to meet next week to come to agreement on funding levels, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has pledged to work to restore Second Chance Act funding through the conference process. That’s why we need your help now!
How You Can Help
Call the office of your representative s in the Senate and House of Representative s and tell them it’s urgent that they include $70 million to $100 million in funding for the Second Chance Act for FY2012. Stress how important it is to your community to have effective solutions to promote successful reentry, both to save money and to improve public safety. Follow this link for a one-pager on the value of the Second Chance Act.
You can also submit a letter in support of Second Chance Act funding here.
Please contact Mark O’Brien with any questions.
Thank you for you help in pushing for this critical funding!
The Legal Action Center is the only public interest law and policy organization in the United States whose sole
mission is to fight discrimination against and protect the privacy of people in recovery from alcohol or drug addiction,
individuals living with HIV/AIDS, and people with criminal records.
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I have to take into consideration that the following document was not created with people on the registry in mind. It’s re-arrest figures do not juxtapose well to what I have found to be true of former offenders required to register. The obstacles faced may be the same but for different reasons. If in fact former offenders required to register are included, different statistics and obstacles should be listed.
Successful Reentry and The Second Chance Act
Reentry, the period following incarceration or conviction during which a person (adult or juvenile) reintegrates into the community, is a time of paramount importance to both public safety and the rehabilitative process. Many obstacles stand between the individual with a criminal record and successful reentry. In fact, studies conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and other leading researchers conclude that more than two-thirds of the individuals released from prison are rearrested within three years. Policies that create barriers to employment, education, civic participation, public benefits, housing, medical care, and substance abuse treatment, to name a few, make reentry more difficult.
The Second Chance Act of 2007 was signed into law by President George W. Bush to combat the “high recidivism rate [that] places a huge financial burden on taxpayers . . . deprives our labor force of productive workers, and . . . families of their daughters and sons, and husbands and wives, and moms and dads”. The Second Chance Act authorizes $165 million in federal aid to state, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations to support programming to assist people exiting incarceration, including competitive grants to government agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing, family services, mentoring, victims support and other services that help reduce recidivism and improve public safety.
Research has demonstrated that these are the types of supports that reduce recidivism and thereby improve public safety while reducing future law enforcement, judicial, and corrections costs not to mention the social and financial costs associated with unemployment, homelessness and untreated addiction. For example:
. Investing in housing opportunities for individuals with criminal records saves money by reducing the number of people who use homeless shelters or live on the streets and decreasing the use of emergency rooms and other expensive crisis services.2
. A recent study conducted in Chicago by the American Bar Association Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions and countless other studies show that individuals with criminal records who are unable to obtain employment are three times more likely to return to prison than those individuals who are able to find work.3
. The Washington State Institute for Public Policy estimates that for every dollar spent on community-based drug treatment, society receives a return of $18.52 in benefits, including reductions in corrections and prosecution costs.4
1 National Institute of Justice, Recidivism, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/corrections/recidivism/welcome.htm (last visited Jan. 18, 2011) (citing Allen J. Beck & Bernard E. Shipley, Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1983, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report (1989), abstract available at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=1135.
2 National Reentry Resource Center. Frequently Asked Questions: Housing. Available at http://nationalreentryresourcecenter.org/faqs/housing-and-reentry#Q3.
3 ABA Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions, Second Chances in the Criminal Justice System: Alternatives to Incarceration and Reentry Strategies at 27 (citing Rebuilding Lives. Restoring Hope. Strengthening Communities: Breaking the Cycle of Incarceration and Building Brighter Futures in Chicago. Final Report of the Mayoral Policy Caucus on Prisoner Reentry at 15 (2006)). (2007).
4 Elizabeth Drake, et al., Evidence-based Public Policy Options to Reduce Future Prison Construction, Criminal Justice Costs, and Crime Rates, Washington State Inst. for Pub. Policy (2006).