Second Chance Act

Individuals released from prison and jail and who are on community supervision have complex needs. If those needs are not met, the likelihood of their successful transition to the community is reduced, which can pose a threat to public safety. Despite the fiscal challenges many state governments have faced in recent years, policymakers and community stakeholders are increasingly aware that, in many cases, the cycle of reoffending can be broken if the right tools and approaches are used. With continued federal support and strong state and local leadership, the chance for meaningful and lasting change is within reach.

Ten states with the greatest potential cost savings could save more than $470 million a year if they reduced recidivism rates by 10 percent, according to the Pew Center on the States.  That was a message in December as Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress, representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice, and teams of policymakers and corrections officials from all 50 states gathered to discuss how the federal government can work in partnership with states to reduce recidivism.

On Monday, November 14, 2011, House and Senate conferees released the “minibus” appropriations report, which includes Fiscal Year 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) spending. The conference report, a consolidated appropriations bill for several agencies including the Department of Justice, provides $63 million for the Second Chance Act.