Congress Restores Second Chance Act Funding

(Chicago, IL)— Federal funding for Second Chance reentry programs, which had been cut by the Senate in September (see Sept. 16 post), has been restored. The House originally had approved $70 million for the Second Chance Act, but the Senate had eliminated the funding, leaving programs across the country in jeopardy for the 2012 fiscal year that began October 1.  

As reported in an electronic press release by the Legal Action Center on November 18, “In a dramatic victory for advocates and stakeholders who support smart approaches to reentry that reduce recidivism and improve lives and communities, the House and Senate negotiated the differences between the two bills and today passed legislation, signed into law by the President, that includes $63 million in funding for Second Chance in FY 2012. The funding level is remarkably close to the $70 million high-water mark set by the House…”

Persistent phone calls and emails from reentry advocates across the country made a difference.

“The restored funding is not only a testament to the value and necessity of evidence-based reentry services, but it’s also a reminder that our voices are heard in Washington,” said TASC President Pamela Rodriguez.  “We commend the members of Congress and our colleagues and fellow citizens across the country who recognized what’s at stake and insisted on the funding restoration.”

For details of the legislation, including funding for other criminal justice programs, please visit the Council of State GovernmentsKnowledge Center.



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