Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the “Second Chance Act of 2007” on June 13. If passed, this legislation would continue targeted funding for 5 years for reentry programs at the state and local level, including those that improve access to jobs, housing, drug treatment, mental health treatment, and medical care. These programs have been proven to reduce recidivism, lead to better outcomes for those released from prison, and save costs.
The proposed legislation would provide non-profit faith and community-based organizations with mentoring grants to develop support programs such as housing, drug treatment, job training, medical care, and education.
The United States incarcerates its citizens at a shockingly high rate and nearly one in three Americans has a criminal record. As formerly incarcerated individuals return to their communities, there is concern about how they will fare upon reentry. Resources, especially for affordable housing, are already scarce in the low income communities where formerly incarcerated persons typically return. Because of their criminal records, justice-involved individuals face additional barriers in accessing affordable housing, putting them at risk of homelessness and subsequent recidivism.
The reauthorization bill’s 14 original cosponsors include Representatives Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Danny Davis (D-IL), John Conyers (D-MI), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Doug Collins (R-GA), Mark Walker (R-NC), Tom Marino (R-PA), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Mia Love (R-UT), Scott Taylor (R-VA), Barbara Comstock (R-VA), and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).
Learn more about the “Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2017” at: http://bit.ly/2rklRER
Learn about housing and criminal justice reform on NLIHC’s website at: http://nlihc.org/issues/criminal-justice