The Justice Center’s government affairs team works to promote the priorities of CSG members and their partners on Capitol Hill and with the executive branch. Legislative services include educating policymakers on complex criminal justice issues and communicating project findings to legislators that can be applied to policymaking and new practices. The team collaborates with experts from a wide range of disciplines and from all branches of government to ensure that policy and legislative recommendations are practical and based on sound data.
Second Chance Act
Signed into law on April 9, 2008, the Second Chance Act (P.L. 110-199) was designed to improve outcomes for people returning to communities from prisons and jails. This first-of-its-kind legislation authorizes federal grants to government agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing, family programming, mentoring, victims support, and other services that can help reduce recidivism.
Second Chance Act Resources
To stay up-to-date with Second Chance Act funding developments, please register for the Action E-List by clicking here.Appropriations Update
Second Chance Act Funding Under Consideration in the House and Senate
On April 17, 2012 the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, and Science released their fiscal year 2013 justice funding bills. In the House, appropriators proposed $70 million for the Second Chance Act, an increase of $7 million from the FY12 funding level. Senate appropriators included $25 million in their bill, while also proposing $6 million for the Justice Reinvestment initiative. The robust funding provided for the Second Chance Act and Justice Reinvestment Initiative reflects continued congressional support for prisoner reentry and recidivism reduction efforts.
Recently, 82 Members of Congress signaled their support for the Second Chance Act in two letters sent to leading appropriators responsible for determining funding for justice programs. In the House, 59 Members of Congress signed a bipartisan letter circulated by Representatives Howard Coble (R-NC-6) and Danny Davis (D-IL-7). A similar letter in the Senate, led by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), collected 23 signatures.
At a time when Congress is increasingly focused on reducing spending, these letters, and the Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittees’ decision to provide strong funding for the Second Chance Act, demonstrated that this important program remains a priority for many lawmakers. The Second Chance Act was passed by Congress in 2008 and supports evidence-based strategies proven to reduce recidivism.
Meanwhile, agencies and organizations concerned with reentry issues have begun to voice their support for the Second Chance Act by drafting their own letter calling on Congress to provide robust funding for Second Chance programs in fiscal year 2013. The letter has been signed by 213 groups throughout the country, and the number of supporting organizations continues to grow. If your organization is interested in signing on, please contact Jeff Burdette at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also help ensure that this letter reaches all organizations in support of the Second Chance Act by forwarding it to colleagues, friends, and other advocates in your community.Sign Letter to Support Second Chance Act Funding
Please help protect funding for the Second Chance Act in FY 2013 and sign your organization onto the Second Chance FY13 sign-on letter. Hundreds of state, local, and community organizations have signed on to date to protect the funding for this critical prisoner reentry program. Organizations that are interested in signing the letter should email Jeff Burdette.Visit the National Reentry Resource Center
The new home on the web for the most up-to-date information about the Second Chance Act, including new solicitations, is the National Reentry Resource Center.
- To find information about the Second Chance Act on the National Reentry Resource Center's website, please click here.
- To register to receive the National Reentry Resource Center's monthly newsletter, please click here.
The National Reentry Resource Center, a project of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA)
What is MIOTCRA?
The Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) of 2004 (Public Law 108-414) was passed unanimously by the U.S. House and Senate and signed into law by President Bush on October 30, 2004. It authorized the appropriation of $50 million per year for FY 2004 and FY 2005 and such sums as may be necessary for 2006-2009.
For the text of the original MIOTCRA bill, please click here. For text of the 2008 Reauthorization bill, please click here.