Press Releases and Statements

Judiciary Committee Republicans Request Mark-Up of Second Chance Reauthorization Act

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Washington, November 12, 2014 | comments

Members of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Howard Coble (R-N.C.), Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and Dave Joyce (R-Ohio), today sent the following letter to Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) requesting a mark-up of H.R. 3465, the Second Chance Reauthorization Act:

Dear Chairman Goodlatte:
We write to respectfully request that the House Judiciary Committee schedule a mark-up of the Second Chance Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3465).

As you know, the Over-Criminalization Task Force‚Äôs hearings have revealed several problems facing the criminal justice system.  While many of these issues are complex and require novel legislative reforms that may be impracticable to introduce and move this session, the Judiciary Committee can and should use the remaining days left in session to ensure that initiatives with proven outcomes, like Second Chance, continue to protect public safety. 

Since the Second Chance Act was signed into law by President Bush in 2008, over 90,000 men, women, and youth returning home from prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities have benefited from Second Chance grants providing career training, mentoring, family-based substance abuse treatment, and other evidence-based reentry programs. 

This investment has paid off in public safety dividends.  The enclosed reports from the National Reentry Resource Center highlight how numerous states have experienced drastic reductions in statewide recidivism rates as a result of robust reentry services made possible in part through Second Chance.  

The outcomes are impressive, but state and local governments as well as non-profit organizations are in dire need of resources in order to ensure that the millions of individuals returning from prison, jail, and juvenile facilities each year continue to receive coordinated evidence-based reentry services. 

As you know, we have made several improvements to the legislation.  Underutilized or redundant programs have been cut, additional accountability measures have been added for grantees, the authorization level has been reduced from $160 million to $100 million per year, and the types of grants available to community and faith-based non-profits have been expanded.     As a result, we have garnered significant bipartisan support in the House and Senate, and as evidenced in the enclosed letter, nearly 482 law enforcement, faith-based and other community organizations from across the country have endorsed the bill. 
Our constituents understand that successful reentry means safer communities and are eager for Congress to take action to reauthorize this critical program. 

Thank you for your leadership on this Committee and for your commitment to protect public safety through recidivism reduction programs.  We look forward to working with you to advance this vital legislation.

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