A Legal Action Center Public Policy Priority

Legal Action Center is advocating for passage of the Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2015

Second Chance Act grants help states and communities address the needs of people returning home from incarceration. Second Chance supports addiction and mental health treatment, mentoring, job training and education, housing, and other critical reentry services. The grants are administered primarily by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Among the important programs that would be updated and improved as part of Second Chance reauthorization are reentry demonstration and mentoring grants, addiction treatment grants, and correctional education grants. These programs reduce recidivism, improve public safety, and provide health care to people with addictions and mental health disorders.

The Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2015 would:

  • Reauthorize the most successful Second Chance programs, including reentry demonstration grants and mentoring grants, grants for family-based substance use treatment and other SUD services, and grants for education and career preparation
  • Expand opportunities for community-based nonprofits to apply for grant programs for which they are currently ineligible to receive direct funding
  • Specifically identifies medication-assisted treatment as a supported activity for reentry courts funded by the reentry demonstration grants program
  • Require coordination among multiple federal agencies, state and local government, and service providers on federal programs and policies related to reentry
  • Modify the Second Chance careers training grant program to support programs that provide job training for a wider range of occupations
  • Expand the mentoring grants program to support employment services, substance use and mental health treatment, housing, and other transitional services

Get Involved!

You can help get Congress to pass this critical legislation. Here’s how:

  • Contact your members of Congress and let them know you support the Second Chance Reauthorization Act and hope they will support it too by co-sponsoring Second Chance and actively pushing for its passage.
  • Use our sample talking points to tell people, policymakers, and members of the press why you support the Second Chance Reauthorization Act.
  • Use our sample Tweets or create your own to spread the word and show your support for the Second Chance Act and its co-sponsors.
  • Support our work to pass the  Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2015.


Second Chance Reauthorization Act in the Senate

Do you want to know more about the Senates version of the Second Chance Reauthorization Act? Click here. 

Sample Tweets and Talking Points


Sample Tweets

Thank you @SenatorLeahy, @SenRobPortman, for pushing to reauthorize the #SecondChanceAct as part of #cjreform. http://ow.ly/NVp4K

I stand with @lac_news in support of reauthorizing the #SecondChanceAct bc #reentry is good for families. #cjreform. http://ow.ly/NVp4K

I stand with @lac_news in support of reauthorizing the #SecondChanceAct because I believe in #secondchances. http://ow.ly/NVp4K

I stand with @lac_news in support of reauthorizing the #SecondChanceAct because I support #cjreform that works. http://ow.ly/NVp4K

Reauthorize the #SecondChanceAct to support #addiction trx and #reentry services that help ppl succeed. #cjreform. http://ow.ly/NVp4K


Sample Talking Points

  • 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. Since 2009, Second Chance programs have served over 92,000 people in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Second Chance grants represent an important federal investment in successful reentry. Second Chance grants support 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 and improve health while making communities safer and families more stable.


For more information or media inquiries

Mark O’Brien, Senior Criminal Justice Policy Associate

[email protected]


Share this

Need Legal Help?

¿Necesita ayuda en español?

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and other legal resources.

View Here Ver aquí

Support Us

You can become a partner in the fight against stigma and discrimination and for smart, effective public policies by making a tax-deductible donation.

Lend your support