Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Last fall, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Danny Davis (D-IL) introduced the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, S. 1690/H.R. 3465, legislation that would reauthorize and improve Second Chance Act grants that support state, local, and community-based efforts to improve reentry outcomes using a range of proven strategies.

The Second Chance Act provides critical reentry resources at a time when they are desperately needed. In 2009, federal and state prisons held over 1.6 million inmates—one in every 199 U.S. residents—and released 729,295 individuals back to their communities. More than 9 million individuals are released from jail each year. Unfortunately, most individuals face numerous challenges when returning to the community from prison or jail, and research indicates that over half are reincarcerated within three years of their release.

With several years of success since Second Chance was originally passed in 2008, we’ve learned a lot about what works to improve reentry and reduce recidivism, and those lessons are incorporated into S. 1690/H.R. 3465, the Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2013. The Second Chance Reauthorization Act would streamline the law to focus on those strategies that have been shown to have the most significant impact on recidivism rates, like family-based addiction treatment and education and employment programs.

How you can help

On Wednesday, September 10th, people like you who care about safety and justice will push for the reauthorization of Second Chance grants by calling Senator Chuck Grassley (Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee) and Representative Bob Goodlatte (Chairman, House Judiciary Committee), and asking them to prioritize and pass the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, S. 1690/H.R. 3465. We hope that you will join us in making these critical calls!

Sen. Chuck Grassley – (202) 224-3744

Chairman Bob Goodlatte – (202) 225-5431


I am calling to ask Senator Grassley/Chairman Goodlatte to prioritize and support passage of the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, S. 1690/H.R. 3465:

  • The Second Chance Act is already working, and Second Chance Reauthorization focuses the law on the most effective reentry strategies. SCA states are reducing recidivism and improving public safety. Recidivism rates are down by 11% in Texas, 19% in North Carolina and 9 % in Wisconsin.
  • Second Chance grants represent an important federal investment in successful reentry. By supporting evidence-based as well as innovative programs to address the challenges that reentry presents for states and localities grappling with high recidivism rates that destabilize neighborhoods, drain resources, and make us less safe, Second Chance grants help reduce recidivism today and enhance our knowledge about the types of practices that work in reentry.
  • Second Chance grants provide states, localities, and nonprofit organizations with critical funding that can be used to prevent and treat addictions. These resources save money by helping reduce recidivism, conserving scarce law enforcement, judicial, and corrections resources while making communities safer and families more stable.

Please share with your networks, affiliates and organizational members. If you have any questions about the Wednesday, September 10th National Call-In Day, contact Mark O’Brien at (202) 544-5478 or e-mail him at [email protected].

Thank you for your help in pushing for this critical legislation!

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