Washington, D.C.—Yesterday, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) was recognized for his work on the Second Chance Act at a celebration marking ten years of success for the groundbreaking criminal justice reform legislation.

Rep. Sensenbrenner: “In a time when our political climate is divided, criminal justice reform continues to gain wide-bipartisan support. I’m proud of my work on the original Second Chance Act, which has empowered hundreds of thousands of individuals to reenter society successfully. I’m grateful to accept this award and look forward to seeing this important legislation reauthorized this year.”

The event took place during the Trump Administration’s Second Chance Month as Congress prepares to reauthorize the Second Chance Act. It was hosted by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the Association of State Correctional Administrators, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Association of Counties, Prison Fellowship, and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.

Background on the Second Chance Act and Second Chance Reauthorization Act:

Congress passed the Second Chance Act with strong bipartisan support and President George W. Bush signed it into law in 2008. This legislation provides non-profit faith and community-based organizations with mentoring grants to develop support programs such as drug treatment, housing, job training, medical care, and education.

Reentry services have been improved, which resulted in a reduction in recidivism and helped ensure a successful return to society for prisoners who have completed their sentence. More than 100,000 men, women, and youths 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 also paid public safety dividends. A report from the National Reentry Resource Center highlights 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.

Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI-05) and Danny Davis (D-IL-07) introduced the Second Chance Reauthorization Act to build upon the success of the original legislation. The bill authorizes funding for both public and private entities to evaluate and improve academic and vocational education for offenders in prison, jails, and juvenile facilities.