The U.S. House of Representatives passed the “One Stop Shop Community Reentry Program Act” (H.R.3372) on December 1 with bipartisan support. The final vote was 218-167.
Introduced by Representatives Karen Bass (D-CA) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), the bill would authorize $10 million per year for fiscal years 2022 to 2026 for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to create a grant program to help establish community reentry resource centers for formerly incarcerated individuals. The bill would also authorize the DOJ to create grants for states, tribal areas, and local governments to establish and operate reentry services assistance hotlines.
Community-based nonprofit organizations would be eligible to receive grant funding to create reentry resource centers. These centers would offer intake, needs assessments, case management, and case planning for reentry services for individuals returning to the community after conviction or incarceration. Centers would be charged with providing holistic services, including assistance finding housing and applying for HUD housing assistance; enrolling in job skills classes; finding and maintaining employment; accessing education programs; registering to vote; and other needed services.
Housing plays a vital role in providing people exiting incarceration and those impacted by the criminal-legal system with the stability needed to successfully return to their communities and thrive upon reentry. Despite its foundational importance, people impacted by the criminal-legal system face steep barriers to accessing stable, affordable housing, placing them at risk of housing instability, homelessness, and recidivism.
By providing a mechanism for delivering reentry services, the One Stop Shop Community Reentry Program Act would help connect people exiting incarceration and those with conviction histories to the resources they need – including stable housing – to successfully return to their communities. The bill will now move on to the U.S. Senate, where a companion bill by the same name (S.1733) was introduced with bipartisan support by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX).
Learn more about the “One Stop Shop Community Reentry Program Act” at: bit.ly/3FiBVzj