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November 24, 2008

Great state-focused coverage of federal Second Chance Act

A helpful reader pointed me to this effective and timely coverage today of the Second Chance Act at Stateline.org.  The piece is headlined "States want Second Chance Act funded," and here is how it begins:

With correctional facilities around the country teeming with repeat offenders, state and local officials are hoping the Second Chance Act — a federal law signed by President Bush in April to help keep former prisoners from committing new crimes — will be a priority under the incoming Obama administration.

The act, which Congress approved with widespread bipartisan support, authorizes $165 million in annual grants to states, localities, nonprofits and religious groups to build programs that help current and ex-offenders find jobs and housing, overcome drug and alcohol addictions, receive mentoring and return to society as law-abiding residents.

When he signed the bill into law, President Bush called it a sign of support for the roughly 700,000 people who are released from state and federal prisons each year. Federal statistics that show more than two thirds of all those released from prison are rearrested for serious crimes within three years.

That has resulted in surging prison populations — and corrections costs — for many states. Corrections trails only health care, education and transportation among state expenses, costing states nearly $50 billion last year.

Despite the new law’s promise of federal dollars to fund so-called “reentry” initiatives, Congress has not appropriated the money. State and local lawmakers, corrections officials, advocacy groups and others now are pushing the incoming Congress — and the administration of President-elect Barack Obama — to provide funding, perhaps in a spending measure that could come up for debate as early as January.

November 24, 2008 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

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Comments

There are thousands of truly reformed people who will have a criminal record with them for the rest of their lives. What kind of jobs will they be able to get and support a family? What employers are willing to hire felons? On most applications there is a box to check if you have ever been convicted of a felony and when you check that box yes guess where your application goes-right to the trash can! If congress really believes these people are reformed and want to help them find a way so that they can really compete for meaningful jobs and truly re-enter society.

Posted by: BS | Nov 24, 2008 8:52:35 PM

Please note that the Second Chance Act specifically denies anyone convicted of a sex offense (regardless of the nature of that offense) the ability to benefit from this kind of programming even if the cash ever comes through.

Posted by: Lee | Nov 24, 2008 10:36:11 PM

Please note that the Second Chance Act specifically denies anyone convicted of a sex offense (regardless of the nature of that offense) the ability to benefit from this kind of programming even if the cash ever comes through.

Posted by: Lee | Nov 24, 2008 10:36:35 PM

I got a grant from the federal government for $12,000 in financial aid, see how you can get one also at
http://couponredeemer.com/federalgrants/

Posted by: alicecain | Dec 19, 2008 5:48:01 AM

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