Congressional Staff Briefing on The Second Chance Act – Video from the CSG Justice Center

Selected Quote

“We’re also partnering with community-based agencies in a big way, including some who have been our critics in corrections… That’s where our offenders will spend most of their time, is in the community, and we need to be supporting those communities in their programs to reintegrate offenders.” ~ A.T. Wall, Director, Rhode Island Department of Corrections

Video Summary. Signed into law with bipartisan support in 2008, the Second Chance Act represents an important federal investment in strategies to increase public safety and reduce recidivism by authorizing funding for the development and coordination of reentry services, such as employment training, substance abuse treatment, and mentoring. Evidence-based reentry programs facilitate the often difficult transition from prison to the community and not only reduce crime, but save taxpayer dollars.

New evidence suggests that the Second Chance Act’s investment in effective reentry programs is working. A report released recently by the Council of State Governments Justice Center profiled seven states that have received funding through the Second Chance Act and found that they have each seen significant reductions in their recidivism rates. In Michigan, the recidivism rate has declined by 18 percent since 2005 and in Kansas, by 15 percent. For many years, states have sought solutions to stubbornly high recidivism rates. Now, recidivism rates in many states are declining or holding steady at a lower level.

At this briefing, experts and reentry leaders discussed the critical support that the Second Chance Act provides to state and local governments and nonprofits working to implement or expand evidence-based reentry programs.

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