On Wednesday, November 13, 2013, the Second Chance Reauthorization Act was introduced in the Senate by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and in the House by Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Howard Coble (R-NC), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and Steve Chabot (R-OH). The bill expands the number of grant programs available and promotes increased accountability and outcomes from grantees. To ensure grant programs are better prepared to measure and track recidivism consistently over time, applicants who partner with local evaluators to develop data-collection systems and outcome evaluations will be prioritized for funding. The bill also authorizes separate planning grants for programs that utilize evidence-based practices that are most likely to result in reduced recidivism and other improved outcomes.
At the Second Chance Act Reauthorization event, the Council of State Governments Justice Center released Reentry Matters: Strategies and Successes of Second Chance Act Grantees Across the United States (Reentry Matters). The publication features snapshots of programs around the country that illustrate the positive impact these initiatives can have on successful reentry into the community by focusing on employment, education, mentoring, and substance abuse and mental health treatment. It also highlights programs that address the needs of specific populations, such as women, youth and their families, and tribal communities. Representing a wide range of populations served, these programs also demonstrate the diversity of approaches that can address recidivism and increase public safety.
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