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March 12, 2008

More on the passage of the Second Chance Act

Over in this post at a WSJ blog, Gary Fields reports on the passage of the Second Chance Act:

After three years of procedural and legislative delays, a prisoner re-entry bill first introduced in 2005 has cleared the Senate and is heading to the president’s desk....   The Second Chance Act passed Tuesday evening, and is now expected to be signed by President Bush. The measure provides about $180 million a year in 2009 and 2010 for prisoner re-entry services to curb a recidivism rate that has held steady at about 66%, meaning that two-thirds of all inmates released annually from state and federal prisons re-offend or violate the conditions of their release within three years and are locked back up.

Close to 700,000 people a year are released from prisons, according to Justice Department statistics. The recidivism rate is one of the reasons the nation’s prison population has grown to more than 2.2 million from 501,886 in 1980. As a result, corrections costs are among the fastest growing expenditures for states. Annual criminal-justice expenditures for police, prisons, probation and courts have risen to more than $200 billion from $36 billion in 1982.

The bill provides more than $360 million in 2009 and 2010 to help prisoners return to society....

One of the chief architects of the bill, Illinois Democrat, Rep. Danny Davis, said he hopes the bill, beyond the money, triggers a discussion at the state and local levels about incarceration and alternatives to imprisonment. “We add this up and the impact will be far greater than just the amount of money that gets appropriated. We know it’s not a panacea,” he said. “It’s not close to any kind of panacea but our hope is this becomes a sort of trigger for a great deal of additional action.”

The bill’s passage comes at a time when states are grappling with rising costs and looking for ways to reduce prison construction. States like Kansas and Texas have all undertaken programs that emphasize drug treatment and cutting the recidivism rates as a way to save hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years.

The event brought a number of press releases from the likes of American Prison Consultants and FAMM and the NAACP and Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Senator Sam Brownback.  How is that for an eclectic and diverse mix of excited folks.  And I bet Eiot Spitzer is now glad to hear this passed, too.

March 12, 2008 at 07:15 PM | Permalink

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Comments

This legislation does almost nothing. The real miracle would be if the Judiciary Committee passed the Second Chance HB 623 proposed by Congressman Charles Rangel of New York and an amendment to it making it possible to,at least, obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation.
This HR 623 is the key to a Second Chance. The fact is that States have various provisions in their laws for ex-convicts to either expunge,obtain a Certificate of Relief from Criminal Disabilities, a Certificate of Good Conduct after a period of time.
On the Federal level there are NO remedies. Once convicted of a Federal Offense,(99% of the times coerced guilty pleas) no matter how minor or non-violent it's a lifetime conviction.
The U.S. Congress,the U.S. Supreme Court and all the Federal Courts have have not yet learned that we live in a Constitutional "Republic".
They can all go to Hell for betraying the will of the people in their numerous petitions for redress of their grievances.
http://www.usapoliticaltyranny.info
http://www.stanley2002.org

Posted by: Allisio Rex | May 31, 2008 4:36:08 PM

This legislation does almost nothing. The real miracle would be if the Judiciary Committee passed the Second Chance HB 623 proposed by Congressman Charles Rangel of New York and an amendment to it making it possible to,at least, obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation.
This HR 623 is the key to a Second Chance. The fact is that States have various provisions in their laws for ex-convicts to either expunge,obtain a Certificate of Relief from Criminal Disabilities, a Certificate of Good Conduct after a period of time.
On the Federal level there are NO remedies. Once convicted of a Federal Offense,(99% of the times coerced guilty pleas) no matter how minor or non-violent it's a lifetime conviction.
The U.S. Congress,the U.S. Supreme Court and all the Federal Courts have have not yet learned that we live in a Constitutional "Republic".
They can all go to Hell for betraying the will of the people in their numerous petitions for redress of their grievances.
http://www.usapoliticaltyranny.info
http://www.stanley2002.org

Posted by: Allisio Rex | May 31, 2008 4:38:03 PM

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