The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and 175 organizations from across the country have signed a letter urging Congress to support reauthorization of the Second Chance Act (SCA). The organizations represent a broad range of sectors including behavioral health, business, faith communities, law enforcement, and others. The bipartisan legislation extends and enhances reentry programs that provide critical services around career training, housing, childcare, and treatment for people with behavioral health and substance use disorders.

The organizations in support joined the CSG Justice Center in emphasizing the value of SCA programs in strengthening reentry services, reducing recidivism, and improving public safety. The letter urges leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees to advance this critical piece of legislation and provide individuals, families, and communities nationwide with access to services and resources that will help ensure the success of people reentering society after incarceration.

Since the Second Chance Act passed 15 years ago, over 1,100 grants totaling more than $600 million have been administered to 845 agencies across 49 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, local and Tribal governments, as well as reentry-focused nonprofit organizations. Between 2009 and 2023, SCA grants impacted more than 442,000 people involved in the criminal justice system who participated in reentry services or parole and probation programs.

With over 600,000 people returning home from prison each year and even more exiting local jails, SCA programs are vital to ensuring public safety and reducing recidivism rates.

Reauthorization of the Second Chance Act will extend critical programs to reduce recidivism, invest in communities, and promote public safety by continuing to:

  • Reauthorize key grant programs that provide vital services, supports, and resources for people reentering their communities after incarceration;
  • Expand allowable uses for supportive and transitional housing services for people reentering their communities from prison and jail; and
  • Enhance addiction treatment services for people with substance use disorders, including peer recovery services, case management, and overdose prevention.

Legislation to reauthorize the Second Chance Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate on June 5, 2024 (S. 4477) by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Cornyn (R-TX), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Peter Welch (D-VT), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

It was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in April (H.R. 8028) by Representatives Carol Miller (R-WV), Danny Davis (D-IL), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Mike Turner (R-OH), and Darin LaHood (R-IL).

READ THE NATIONAL SUPPORT LETTER

The post Groundswell of Support to Continue the Second Chance Act: More than 150 Organizations Nationwide Support Reauthorization appeared first on CSG Justice Center.

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