Key Federal Legislation, Policy and Appropriations

Second Chance Reauthorization Act

The bipartisan Second Chance Act, passed into law in 2008, reduced prison costs and improved public safety by giving federal, state, and local governments tools to help inmates successfully reintegrate into their communities upon release and avoid reoffending. The Second Chance Reauthorization Act was intended to improve existing programs that have demonstrated success and consolidates some programs that were duplicative or less successful.

The Senate bill, S. 1513, and House bill, H.R. 3406, were introduced in the 114th Congress. While it passed the House committee, it did not move in the Senate. Supporters will try again in the 115th Congress.

Key provisions of the reauthorization:

  • Reauthorize federal grants to test strategies for reducing recidivism and corrections costs, including, substance abuse treatment, education, family programming, mentoring, victims support, other services.

  • Fund reentry and veterans treatment courts, including in underserved areas.

  • Expand scope of mentoring grants to transitional services for reintegration of offenders.

  • Improve reporting on the Bureau of Prison’s use of community corrections facilities.

View a section-by-section summary.

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