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March 12, 2008

Second Chance Act (finally!!) passed by Congress

I am pleased to report that, late last night, the Senate approved the Second Chance Act, a long-stalled piece of legislation that should provide significant resources for much-needed reentry services.  This press release from the Council of State Governments provides more details:

The Council of State Governments Justice Center lauds the members of the U.S. Senate for their passage [Tuesday] of the Second Chance Act of 2007.  This landmark bill, introduced by Senators Joseph Biden (D-DE), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA), provides critical resources designed to reduce recidivism and increase public safety. The legislation passed the Senate by unanimous consent and now proceeds to the President’s desk for signature....

The Second Chance Act includes key elements of President Bush’s Prisoner Reentry Initiative, announced in the 2004 State of the Union address, which provides for community and faith-based organizations to deliver mentoring and transitional services. The bill will also help connect people released from prison and jail to mental health and substance abuse treatment, expand job training and placement services, and facilitate transitional housing and case management services....

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, an estimated 95 percent of all state prisoners will be released—with half of these individuals expected to return to prison within three years for the commission of a new crime or violation of their conditions of release. This cycle of recidivism not only compromises public safety, but also increases taxpayer spending.  A February 2007 report from The Pew Charitable Trusts stated that if federal, state, and local policies and practices do not change, taxpayers are expected to pay as much as $27.5 billion on prisons alone from 2007 to 2011 on top of current corrections spending.

“The Second Chance Act will provide an opportunity for realistic rehabilitation for the more than 650,000 inmates who return to their communities each year,” said Senator Specter. “The bill’s focus on education, job training, and substance abuse treatment is essential to decreasing the nationwide recidivism rate of 66 percent.”

HUZZAH!!!

Some related posts discussing the Second Chance Act:

March 12, 2008 at 09:43 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Nice. But Bush will veto it. Thanks again Ralph Nader.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 12, 2008 10:04:17 AM

I don't see any indication of a veto.

Posted by: S.cotus | Mar 12, 2008 10:52:48 AM

Yeah, anon. I'm sure he'll be quick to veto a bill that contains stuff he asked for. And I am waiting to see yet another headline of how evil and mean those conservative republicans are. I mean, just look at how Brownback opposes a more forgiving criminal justice policy. Oh, wait . . .

Posted by: Random Clerk | Mar 12, 2008 11:37:11 AM

Bush may not vetoes this bill but he will vetoes Charlie Rangel's Second chance bill, which by the way help first time non violent convicted felons.(expungement)What's good with is all these social programs if you cannot expunge your record. You still won't get hire.

Posted by: | Mar 12, 2008 4:40:18 PM

so this bill will help ex-convicts be reintroduced to society basically or help them become part of our legal society through education, medical and mental help did i understand that correctly?

Posted by: | Mar 18, 2008 11:02:45 PM

Bush signed it...april 9, 2008...way to go bush!! Finally something to recognize him for.

Posted by: Diane | Apr 10, 2008 8:45:46 AM

I think this is great! Especially considering that most of these inmates are in for crimes they did not do, for example my husband had to admit to a crime just to get a plea agreement! Even though we all had seen this video of the crime and the man in the video had tattoos on his arm which my husband does not, how messed up is that?????

Posted by: Monique Martinez | Apr 10, 2008 3:17:02 PM

think goodness bush has finally passed the second chance law. there are alot of people inprison include my husband that got more sentence than they should have. but it is finally great to have somegood news.

Posted by: .linda loveless hunter | Apr 10, 2008 11:22:22 PM

I have been following the HR 1593. Second Chance Act
was signed 4-8-08 by President Bush ! I have tried to get
through the door of my Senator and have made calls to
get a appointment as to what the board members of the
Prisons are doing. I can not seem to get in and/or a return
phone call. I am pleased it has passed but not with the final
control of the Parole Board playing their authority. You say
that 655,000 inmates will be released, over 95% inmates. While
the inmates receive letters stating that up to 382,000 inmates will
be released. So while the President has signed the Parole Board
is playing GOD with the freedom of these inmates. Is it power or
the $$$’s they see losing when there are not over loaded with inmates?
Hummmmm. May GOD strike them down !!!!!!!

Posted by: Someone who can't get appointment with Senator | Apr 18, 2008 4:11:59 PM

Does anyone know a link to the specifics of the law's passage regarding release of inmates?

Posted by: dave karney | Apr 23, 2008 10:53:35 PM

Thank you Jesus. This is good. They need a second chance like my husband who has been harrassed by a peace officer since we relocated becuz of a suspended license and then had a altercation with him in front of our children and was beaten and then locked up. Our oldest was inarcerated along with myself for tryin to cover him up from them beating him so bad. servin time for Aggravated Battery to a peace officer. How real is that. It is their wotd against ours and the other people who witnessed this and was not able to testify due to previous convictions would they not be able to see and speak on what the saw because of that. This system is crazy and protects the people that are the actual criminals for no reason instead of those abused by the under cover criminals. The Peace Officers. Lord Help Us...

Posted by: Talia | Apr 25, 2008 10:35:02 AM

Thank you Jesus. This is good. They need a second chance like my husband who has been harrassed by a peace officer since we relocated becuz of a suspended license and then had a altercation with him in front of our children and was beaten and then locked up. Our oldest was inarcerated along with myself for tryin to cover him up from them beating him so bad. servin time for Aggravated Battery to a peace officer. How real is that. It is their word against ours.the other people who witnessed this and was not able to testify due to previous convictions would they not be able to see and speak on what the saw because of that. This system is crazy and protects the people that are the actual criminals for no reason instead of those abused by the under cover criminals. The Peace Officers. Lord Help Us... I prayed for the judges mind as they sentenced my husband to prision for nothing and was left with four young children to take care of in this economy. My God when will this abuse stop. I also prayed for the Judge that sentenced my son after seeing the nervousness in the officer that testified that a child that is afraid of peers his own age and never disrespected an adult as long as he lived and also after the officer pulled up a report that neither the State or our lawyer had and we were going to court for a full year at tha point seems fishy huh the judge didn't think so

Posted by: Talia | Apr 25, 2008 10:42:49 AM

I'm kind of confused. See, my mom was sentenced to 20 years and We think that she was over sentenced. Does this mean she may get out sooner than we think? She has already served 8 years.

Posted by: Pink | Apr 27, 2008 1:46:39 PM

Does anyone know what BOP has done so far with respect to the Second Chance Act. I have heard of possible changes in the time for required early release consideration, but any information would be helpful.

Jim Moliterno, William & Mary

Posted by: Jim Moliterno | Apr 29, 2008 10:09:36 AM

what is the parole?

Posted by: | May 13, 2008 3:19:52 PM

Can anyone email me and tell me how and if a non profit can apply for this Second chance act money? My non profit has a transitional housing program for women getting out of jail/prison and we need to apply for a gratn if possible, thanks for any help you can give me!

Posted by: Janet | May 19, 2008 1:01:11 PM

I am the founder/Executive Director for GROW Ministries Inc.

Posted by: Janet | May 19, 2008 1:02:40 PM

Please if possible direct me on how to locate such orginations in the atlanta area. I heard the tail end of a news breifing on an organization that was quite progressive in helping those in situations w/criminal records, getting much needed education, job training, etc. Unfortunately I didn't get all the information about that specific groups location. Any information you can provide would be much appreciated.

Posted by: Rosa | May 27, 2008 11:14:59 AM

MY HUSBAND IS A FEDERAL INMATE WHO MET ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS TO BE RELEASED EARLY IT WAS THE BEST NEWS ONLY TO FIND OUT TODAY THAT HE WAS DENIED BECAUSE UPON RELEASE HE WILL NOT BE HOMELESS! HE IS NOT A PRIORITY TO BE RELEASE TO A HALFWAY HOUSE BECAUSE HE IS NOT HOMELESS! EVERYTHING THAT I HAVE READ ABOUT THIS LAW DIDN'T INDICATE THAT IN ORDER TO BE RELEASED EARLY YOU NEED TO BE HOMELESS! HAS ANYONE ELSE HAD THIS PROBLEM?

Posted by: NINA | May 29, 2008 12:33:21 AM

The Second Chance Act has turned up to be nothing more than a joke. One inmate was top of list to be let out on it and they are still holding him and nothing I mean nothing has changed as for his release date and all. Both the old Warden & the new one had requested he be released. I went to my Senator and got a release paper to send to the inmate to find they held his mail from returning to the Senator. I am waiting to hear from him now. As Colorado Federal Prison would be holding him PAST his time served. Power Trip Magets

Posted by: 3rd visit here | Jun 2, 2008 10:28:32 PM

My husband has been in federal prison for 14 years, a first time non violent offender. And unfortanely, We are hearing the same as "Rosa". I can not believe that you have to be homeless to be released early, that does not make ANY sense at all. My husband meets all the requirements of the act, but where he is housed in WV, they have been stated to say NO one is getting anything!!
they just do not want to loose any of their inmates, they may loose alittle of their funding, What a joke and a waste of time!!! It only got our hopes up for nothing!!!

Posted by: Kim | Jun 10, 2008 5:33:32 PM

Housewife,Husband in Federal.

Posted by: donna | Jun 25, 2008 5:30:25 PM

New to this site and how it works, new to Prison thing also, I'm now worried about second chance act and having a home,has anyone heard any more?

Posted by: donna | Jun 25, 2008 5:33:53 PM

Just wanted to let you know, my husband had team Monday, he has been in prison 14 years, perfect prison record, he received 6 months halfway house, so he will be gettting out in Jan 09. He received nothing from the 2nd chance act because he has a home, and a family to come home to, he did not quailify for any additional time. So, in other words, your are discremated againist if your family sticks by you and you have worked hard to have a clean prison record, you get nothing extra. It is a shame, the 2nd chance act will only help inmates that do not have a family, a home or a job. They need more time to adjust into society. My husband has been out of society for 14 years, I would say he might need a little time to adjust, they would not even give him a furlow. What a system we have. If it were state, he would have done 2 years and been home!!!

Posted by: Kim | Jul 8, 2008 6:39:32 PM

OK, what does the Second Chance Act mean for someone like me who has a misdemeanor record from New York City? I've been trying to gain employment since I graduated with honors from business scool in 2003. However, my record keeps following me and becomes a staple upon any job application I fill out in the finance industry.

What do I do?

Posted by: taurusx5 | Jul 30, 2008 2:01:11 PM

Where does one start the process to acquire the help from the Second Chance Law. Thanks

Posted by: tim | Aug 10, 2008 7:03:07 PM

My wife has just been sentenced to 3 years in Federal Prison for mail fraud--she is a first time offender--almost 60 years old and she has never been in trouble before. She is a well educated person who does not deserve to be behind bars. What does this 2nd chance law mean to her?

I would really like to know if someone who knows can answer my question and help me

Posted by: USA Truth | Sep 4, 2008 6:54:28 PM

My wife has just been sentenced to 3 years in Federal Prison for mail fraud--she is a first time offender--almost 60 years old and she has never been in trouble before. She is a well educated person who does not deserve to be behind bars. What does this 2nd chance law mean to her?

I would really like to know if someone who knows can answer my question and help me

Posted by: USA Truth | Sep 4, 2008 6:56:02 PM

It's great to know that the entire Unites States is compassionate enough to give people a second chance with the exception of HAWAII. Please read Sept. 3, 2008 Honolulu Advertiser article:
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080903/NEWS01/809030396/1001/LOCALNEWSFRONT

Do you think Hawaii's Attorney General and Deputy Atty General Hugh Jones gives a damn about ex-cons? They suspended me for 90 days and imposed 12K fines for giving people a chance.

Posted by: MJ Barkley | Sep 9, 2008 11:22:07 PM

My Love One Has been down 7yrs. He was sentence for 121 months for meth conspricy. How do i find out if second chance act will help him. He's in federal PFC.

Posted by: Tina | Sep 15, 2008 8:23:55 PM

I would like an email address of the office that are offering second chance individuals housing; job training and placement services, and facilitate transitional housing and case management service. Specifically, for individual who have skills; tree cutting, construction workers and dry walling and more. Also, housing which includes Section 8 housing for these individual, which have custody of their children and are need of housing.

Posted by: OLIVERIA | Sep 16, 2008 3:47:15 PM

Who cares about a Second Chance Act when Congress won't even give a first Chance. First time offenders can't even get a genuine Record Clearance for ten year old Aggravated Battery or Domestic Violence charges. They need not to offer hope if it's all false hope.

Posted by: | Oct 18, 2008 10:12:45 PM

I'm simply disgusted with these lies when people have lives to lead. A person with a 10 year old background can't even get a decent paying job or live in a decent apartment complex. You can go to college and get all the degrees you want. There is no such thing as Second Chance!!
Congress and Department of Corrections need Felons and count on repetitive Unlawful behavior. This is the only way that they themselves can remain employed. It should be a crime not to allow a person to redeem themselves. Especially when their charges are not Murder, Rape or Battery on Elderly or Children.

Posted by: | Oct 18, 2008 11:15:48 PM

I stumbled across your blog while conducting research for a new article I intend to publish on the Second Chance Act. Two of my prior articles can be found on my blog at FederalPrisonGateway.blogspot.com.

It can be said that the passage of this law was a step in the right direction. However, because the terms of this Act affect so few inmates, this step is only modest at best and deserves redoubled efforts in the upcoming Congress.

Geoffrey Mousseau, President
White Collar Sentencing Consultants, Inc.
http://FederalPrisonInc.com

Posted by: Geoffrey Mousseau | Oct 31, 2008 3:06:19 PM

how will the second chance act help someone that has a 12 year sentence fed and has done 9 years of it first time offender non violent

Posted by: kenny | Nov 17, 2008 12:19:19 PM

i'm a ex offender released in oct 0f 08 just wonting to see how the second chance act can help me.

Posted by: richard showers jr | Feb 11, 2009 6:01:59 PM

My husband is a Federal Inmate and has served 10 1/2 years. He has maintained a clean record throughout his time, he has held good job and had a good standing while he has been in the system. During his time here in a Colorado Federal Prison he was never teamed to be rescored. When this facility went to a Low Grade he should have had the points to keep him here. However, because of the incompetency of his Case Managers they ended up shipping him to a facility in Texas, where he was held in the SHU for no reason for almost 40 days. He was refused the documents he needed to file for Administrative Remedy several times. When he was finally able to obtain these documents through the help of an outsider he submitted them. He has been sent to a facility that houses Max Security Inmates and now fears retaliation from this. He has been unduly shipped around like a package with no results to his complaints. He is way out of his region and I need to know how I go about finding out about this whole Second Chance Act.

Posted by: Deborah | Mar 13, 2009 7:55:06 PM

My father in law has been in jail for 4 years due to conspiracy, and we just found out he was sentenced to 104 months, 9 years to b exact, he received a letter stating the second chance act, but does he qualify he just turned 50 years old, and is suppose to get deported back to his country. He believes this law is gonna cut his sentence in half, could it b possible? I spoke to his case manager in new Mexico and she just told me his release date, and didn't answer anything else? Wat should we do??

Posted by: Vic | Apr 2, 2009 6:09:47 AM

Is there anyone else out there that would like to join me in a class action lawsuit against the FBOP for failure to abide by a federal law (the second chance act)? If a citizen failed to follow a law we would be jailed! Why should a goverment agency not have to abide by the same rules? I would like to hear from anyone who is interested.

Posted by: mike | Apr 7, 2009 5:15:53 PM

I was charged and convicted with the misdemeanor Obstructing Official Business in the year 2000. It has been over 12 years since this occurred and I am currently enrolled in the Education Program at a University with 3.9 GPA and in Honors Program. I checked with the Ohio Education licensure website and this does not keep me from licensure, but I am sincerely worried how it will affect my chances on job applications. I cannot have it expunged because I have a DUI on my record. (Another dumb incident from 1999 when I was young and stupid) IThe Obstruction of official Business was a dumb incident. My girlfriend at the time was pulled over and she had a suspended drivers license that I didn't know about. It was February and very cold and the officers told me to to walk away from the scene. I didn't want to leave my girlfriend behind because something just did not feel right to me, so I made the mistake of arguing with the officer and he arrested me. I was charged a $50 fine and 25 hrs of community service. It seemed like a very innocent thing at the time but it has come back to haunt me. I have nothing else on my record. From everything I have been reading it seems that no matter what it will still come up on background checks for a Teaching position. It is so disappointing because i have worked so hard in school and I am still going to pay for those mistakes. My advisors have recommended I switch career choices. It is heartbreaking because teaching is what i have always wanted to do. So I sincerely hope that in the future something can change in our laws so that their is at least a statute of limitations on some of these offenses.

Posted by: Chris | Jun 8, 2012 5:30:57 PM

I would like to know what to do about a class action lawsuit against the. Bop Im having the hardest time getting any help out here due to the fact my judge tells me I cant get any federal assistant due to the fact I have to wait until 2016 I was released in January of 2013 if anyone is out there that can help me contact me at 662 545 1179

Posted by: desmond burnett | Feb 9, 2014 11:05:05 AM

I think people that have weed convictions,should have a second.chance,he'll they sale it in every where,not fair.
and some murder case'es like defending your self.

Posted by: carolyn buchanan | Oct 28, 2014 4:21:39 PM

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