Senate leaders in April took strong bipartisan action in support of three programs in FY 2020—the Second Chance Act, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI)—aimed at increasing public safety and reducing recidivism at the local and state levels.
Updates from Capitol Hill
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Congressional leaders in April took strong bipartisan action in support of three programs in FY 2020—the Second Chance Act, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI)—aimed at increasing public safety and reducing recidivism at the local and state levels.
Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), James Lankford (R-OK), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced a resolution to designate April 2019 as “Second Chance Month” and honor those who work to remove unnecessary barriers that prevent those with a criminal record from becoming productive members of society.
During Second Chance Month, we draw attention to the challenges that former inmates face and the steps we can take to ensure they have the opportunity to become contributing members of society.
U.S. Representatives Mark Walker (R-N.C.) and Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) today introduced a resolution expressing support for April 2019 to be recognized as Second Chance Month. A Senate companion bill is being introduced by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
President Trump signed the omnibus fiscal year (FY) 2019 spending bill, which provides $30.9 billion for the U.S. Department of Justice and includes $3.02 billion for various state and local law enforcement assistance grant programs.
The First Step Act, which passed the U.S. Senate 87-12 and the House 358-36, will usher in significant changes to federal sentencing laws as well as improvements to programs that aim to reduce recidivism and provide support to people who are involved in the criminal justice system.
Nearly all of the 2.2 million people incarcerated in the United States will be released at some point. Individuals returning to their communities from prison or jail have complex challenges and needs that contribute to the likelihood that they may return to incarceration.
Strategies tested in many states show that there are effective ways to address the challenge of containing rising corrections costs while also increasing public safety.
Recent efforts among state and local leaders to reduce the number of youth who are incarcerated have yielded impressive results: the national juvenile incarceration rate has been cut in half over the past decade. Yet state policymakers, practitioners, and advocates alike recognize that reforming the juvenile justice system requires more than incarcerating fewer youth.
A 2006 Department of Justice study showed that approximately 45 percent of federal inmates, 56 percent of state inmates,and 64 percent of jail inmates displayed symptoms or had a history of a mental disorder; among female inmates in state prisons, the rate was nearly three out of four.
The U.S. Congress recently voted to approve the landmark, bipartisan First Step Act, which also reauthorizes the Second Chance Act.
U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced that their bipartisan Second Chance Reauthorization Act, has been incorporated into the First Step Act, bipartisan legislation to reform America’s criminal justice system authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) recently introduced their Second Chance Reauthorization Act, bipartisan legislation to reauthorize and amend the Second Chance Act, a law that supports state and local reentry programs to reduce recidivism.