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Colorado Passes Juvenile Justice Reform Bill

Colorado Passes Juvenile Justice Reform Bill

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the Juvenile Justice Reform Act (Senate Bill 108) on May 28—a crucial step toward aligning the state’s juvenile justice system with what research shows works to improve outcomes for youth, strengthen public safety, and efficiently use resources.

U.S. House Appropriations Committee Approves Commerce-Justice-Science Funding Bill

U.S. House Appropriations Committee Approves Commerce-Justice-Science Funding Bill

Last week the House Appropriations Committee passed a Commerce-Justice-Science bill that includes funding for three programs in FY2020—the Second Chance Act, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act, and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative—aimed at increasing public safety and reducing recidivism at the local and state levels.

NRRC Director: Second Chance Month is Over, But a New Era of Work Must Begin

NRRC Director: Second Chance Month is Over, But a New Era of Work Must Begin

As April comes to a close, so does Second Chance Month, a time designated to focus attention on the millions of people returning from prison or jail each year. Ensuring their reentry back into communities is safe and successful matters to everyone. So it’s heartening to reflect on the momentum that now exists, and begin defining the future of reentry.

Second Chance Act Q&A: Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts

Second Chance Act Q&A: Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts

“Reentry is a process. It begins when individuals first enter our corrections system, not when they are about to exit it. We assess their needs, engage them in a plan for the future, provide them opportunities for positive change through treatment and programming, and equip them with job skills and healthy relationship habits.”

Second Chance Month Q&A: U.S. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner

Second Chance Month Q&A: U.S. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner

“Since the Second Chance Act was implemented, more than 160,000 men, women, and youth have benefitted from Second Chance Act grants. For example, in my home state of Wisconsin, we saw a 20 percent decrease in recidivism over a 10-year period after implementing reentry support programs. I’d call that a success.”

Second Chance Month Q&A: U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy

Second Chance Month Q&A: U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy

“The vast majority of people in our criminal justice system will one day be released. We all have a stake in ensuring they can succeed. It reduces recidivism and saves money. It’s also just the right thing to do.”

U.S. House Members Express Support for Key Justice Programs

U.S. House Members Express Support for Key Justice Programs

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.

Second Chance Month Q&A: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson

Second Chance Month Q&A: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson

For people who have been convicted of a crime, a second chance can mean greater opportunity for a productive life. As governor, I’ve made a priority of exploring ways that we give the people inside our prisons and jails a bona fide second chance by preparing them for life before they leave prison.

Second Chance Month Q&A: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

Second Chance Month Q&A: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

“Every citizen in the state benefits when a person comes out of prison as a healthy and productive member of society. The truth is this: the vast majority of people who are currently incarcerated in our state will be released back to their community at some point.”

Second Chance Month Q&A: North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum

Second Chance Month Q&A: North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum

“People released from the criminal justice system become our neighbors when they reenter our communities, and it’s in everyone’s best interest that they are well-positioned to become productive members of the community with dignity and opportunities to succeed.”

National Reentry Resource Center Launches Clean Slate Clearinghouse

National Reentry Resource Center Launches Clean Slate Clearinghouse

Recently, the National Reentry Resource Center, with funding support from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, launched the Clean Slate Clearinghouse, which helps support juvenile and adult criminal record clearance.

Second Chance Month Q&A: Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo

Second Chance Month Q&A: Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo

“We all benefit when individuals leaving prison have a place to live, a chance at higher education, and a good job. Studies show that having a clear pathway to reenter society reduces recidivism. It’s good for all our citizens—and our taxpayers—if people leaving incarceration become productive members of society.”

Second Chance Month Q&A: Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin

Second Chance Month Q&A: Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin

“Reentry means providing those in our criminal justice system with a path forward to becoming productive members of society after they have served their time. From the very beginning, America has been a land of second chances.”

Second Chance Month Q&A: Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont

Second Chance Month Q&A: Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont

“As a new governor, I have great respect for the innovative work that past Connecticut leaders have done to reduce our prison population and prepare people for their return to the community—all while driving crime down. But we have to build on that success. There’s far more work to be done to ensure that Connecticut is as safe and successful as possible.”

[WATCH] Reentry: What Does it Mean to You?

[WATCH] Reentry: What Does it Mean to You?

Learn how the National Reentry Resource Center can help weave the numerous threads of successful reentry together to promote safety, collaboration, and second chances. Follow us on social media with the hashtag #ReentryMatters.

Communities Celebrate Successful Reentry During Second Chance Month

Communities Celebrate Successful Reentry During Second Chance Month

Policymakers, corrections officials, practitioners, and other leaders plan to commemorate Second Chance Month—celebrated throughout April—with a host of activities highlighting efforts to support people transitioning from prison or jail back into the community.

A Message from the Director: Highlights from 2018

A Message from the Director: Highlights from 2018

I arrived at the CSG Justice Center aware that the field of criminal justice has changed dramatically since our inception in 2007, presenting our organization and others with new challenges and exciting opportunities. As we entered our second decade, I felt that we first needed to be sure we understand who we are, what we stand for, and how we fit into this growing field.

Reentry Essentials: Prioritizing Treatment for Substance Addictions

Reentry Essentials: Prioritizing Treatment for Substance Addictions

A large proportion of people in the criminal justice system have substance addictions. While there is an overwhelming need to provide effective treatment, challenges exist in quantifying the extent of that need, providing appropriate treatment programming, and taking a strategic approach across systems.

Vermont’s Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategy: Highlights and Progress

Vermont’s Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategy: Highlights and Progress

Following four principles of corrections system improvement—organizational development, use of risk and needs assessments, quality improvement, and data collection and management—states like Vermont participate in SRR in an effort to reduce the likelihood of recidivism for every person under correctional supervision.

Groundbreaking 50-State Report on Public Safety Updated with 2017 Data

Groundbreaking 50-State Report on Public Safety Updated with 2017 Data

The CSG Justice Center has released an updated version of the 50-State Report on Public Safety that includes 2017 crime and arrest data. The report is a web-based resource that combines extensive data analyses, case studies and recommended strategies from all 50 states to help policymakers address their state’s specific public safety challenges.

North Dakota Explores Expanding Alternatives to Incarceration and Behavioral Health Services for People in the Criminal Justice System

North Dakota Explores Expanding Alternatives to Incarceration and Behavioral Health Services for People in the Criminal Justice System

At a recent North Dakota Justice Reinvestment Oversight Committee meeting, CSG Justice Center staff highlighted recent decreases in prison admissions that resulted from alcohol and drug offenses and probation revocations. These declines seem to be the cause of a 6.5-percent drop in the state’s total prison population in FY2018, which exceeded expectations, and have reinforced the state’s efforts to increase behavioral health services for people in the criminal justice system.

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Darius Dennis, Norfolk, Virginia

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Darius Dennis, Norfolk, Virginia

“I have the motivation to be in control of my own choices—for how I see my future and how I see my children’s future,” Darius Dennis said. “That’s what the program taught me. So it was absolutely the right thing for me at the right time.”

Reentry Essentials: The Role of Corrections in Reentry

Reentry Essentials: The Role of Corrections in Reentry

The primary function of correctional supervision was once seen as control and custody; however, corrections agencies have increasingly come to recognize that focusing on rehabilitation and planning for reentry are fundamental to their missions to increase public safety.

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Byron Davis, Birmingham, Alabama

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Byron Davis, Birmingham, Alabama

Byron Davis used the end of his sentence in Limestone Correctional Facility near Huntsville, Alabama, to get ready for his next step: searching for work back home in his community, just outside of Birmingham. He intended to put his conviction for dealing drugs behind him. “I don’t want to go back to that,” Davis said. “But I need to work, to make a living.”

Iowa’s Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategy: Highlights and Progress

Iowa’s Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategy: Highlights and Progress

Following four principles of corrections system improvement—organizational development, use of risk and needs assessments, quality improvement, and data collection and management—states like Iowa participate in SRR in an effort to reduce the likelihood of recidivism for every person under correctional supervision.

Reentry Essentials: Addressing Mental Health Needs among People in the Criminal Justice System

Reentry Essentials: Addressing Mental Health Needs among People in the Criminal Justice System

A disproportionate number of people in the nation’s criminal justice system face mental health issues: a Bureau of Justice Statistics report found, for example, that people in U.S. prisons and jails are three to five times more likely to experience serious psychological distress than the general adult population. While there is an overwhelming need to provide effective treatment, challenges exist in quantifying the extent of that need and taking a strategic approach across systems—from law enforcement to community-based reentry services.

10-Year Anniversary of the Second Chance Act Celebrated on Capitol Hill

10-Year Anniversary of the Second Chance Act Celebrated on Capitol Hill

As policymakers continue to focus on the importance of safe and successful reentry among people leaving prisons and jails, and with President Trump designating April 2018 “Second Chance Month,” a group of national leaders paused recently to reflect on the impact of the Second Chance Act—a law passed in 2008 that has supported work to improve reentry outcomes in communities throughout the country.

Seeking New Perspective, Interview Series Gives Firsthand Look at Criminal Record Clearance Experiences

Seeking New Perspective, Interview Series Gives Firsthand Look at Criminal Record Clearance Experiences

For the Record is produced by the Clean Slate Clearinghouse and features conversations between Rashawn Davis—a policy analyst at The CSG Justice Center—and people who are involved in the criminal record clearance field, including elected officials, lawyers, social workers, and people who have or have had a juvenile or criminal record (or individuals who are all four, or more).

For the Record: A Podcast Featuring Candid Conversations about Criminal Record Clearance—Episode 1, Khalil Cumberbatch

For the Record: A Podcast Featuring Candid Conversations about Criminal Record Clearance—Episode 1, Khalil Cumberbatch

The inaugural episode of For the Record features an interview with criminal justice reform advocate Khalil Cumberbatch, an associate vice president with the Fortune Society and someone who has an intimate knowledge of the series’ subject: he spent almost seven years in prison, and four years after that with a criminal record until he received a pardon in 2014.

Second Chance Act Grantee Takes Part in New Young Adult Correctional Program

Second Chance Act Grantee Takes Part in New Young Adult Correctional Program

The Middlesex, Massachusetts, Sheriff’s Office opened a new jail unit specifically for young adults this month. Established in partnership with the local nonprofit UTEC and the Vera Institute of Justice, the specialized unit—called People Achieving Change Together (PACT)—seeks to reduce recidivism by offering tailored programming to young people between the ages of 18 and 24 at the Middlesex Jail and House of Correction.

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Britney Stembridge

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Britney Stembridge

“The connections through Pathfinders [are] really what made the difference for me,” Steimbridge said. On top of the short-term housing assistance she received, she also credits Pathfinders’ individualized mentoring support with helping her stay on track in recovery.

Megan Quattlebaum Named Director of the CSG Justice Center

Megan Quattlebaum Named Director of the CSG Justice Center

The Council of State Governments (CSG) recently announced that Megan Quattlebaum, research scholar in law at Yale University Law School and lecturer in law at Columbia University Law School, will be the next director of The CSG Justice Center.

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Ronald Forbes

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Ronald Forbes

A 55-year-old U.S. Army veteran, Ronald Forbes is on the brink of expanding his Oakland, California-based catering company in partnership with his sister, Catherine. Soon, he’ll move the business to a commercial space, but for now he’s practicing his recipes for barbecue chicken, ribs, and his mom’s potato salad at home.

Second Chance Act-Funded Middle Tennessee Rural Reentry Program Highlighted in Grantee Training and Media Coverage

Second Chance Act-Funded Middle Tennessee Rural Reentry Program Highlighted in Grantee Training and Media Coverage

Staff and a program participant of the Middle Tennessee Rural Reentry (MTRR) Program in Franklin County, TN, a 2015 Second Chance Act Technology-Based Career Training grantee, recently offered insights to fellow grantees as part of the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) training event Engaging Local Employers in Promising Practices for Hiring People Who Have Criminal Records.

WATCH: Gov. Reynolds of Iowa Meets Face to Face with People Incarcerated at a Maximum Security Facility

WATCH: Gov. Reynolds of Iowa Meets Face to Face with People Incarcerated at a Maximum Security Facility

During their visit, Gov. Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg met with inmates participating in Iowa’s largest apprenticeship program, in addition to leading a roundtable discussion with many of the program’s stakeholders and local business leaders where they discussed the importance of providing reentry services and employment opportunities for those being released from prisons and jails.

Second Chance Act Participant Spotlight: Sharon Hadley, Harris County, Texas

Second Chance Act Participant Spotlight: Sharon Hadley, Harris County, Texas

When Sharon Hadley arrived at Santa Maria Hostel in July 2012, she had just completed the latest in her decade-long string of sentences for drug-related offenses. “Now that I look back over my life, I can see how the wheels started coming off even before I really knew it,” Hadley said. “I recidivated 13 times. Each incarceration was longer and longer, and I was more and more hopeless.”

WATCH: Gov. Hickenlooper Speaks with Corrections Officers, Incarcerated Women During Face to Face Visit

WATCH: Gov. Hickenlooper Speaks with Corrections Officers, Incarcerated Women During Face to Face Visit

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, on Aug. 16, discussed mental health treatment and “second chances” during a tour of a women’s correctional facility in Denver, where he had the opportunity to #MeetFacetoFace with corrections officers and the people incarcerated there. “Prisoners are often forgotten … out of sight out of mind,” Gov. Hickenlooper said. “I think there are better ways of dealing with their lives than just locking them up in a box.”

Governor Sandoval Proclaims ‘Face to Face Week’ in Nevada

Governor Sandoval Proclaims ‘Face to Face Week’ in Nevada

Launched on Monday, Aug. 14, Face to Face—an initiative sponsored by the National Reentry Resource Center and The Council of State Governments Justice Center in partnership with the Association of State Correctional Administrators, JustLeadershipUSA, and the National Center for Victims of Crime—challenges all elected officials to participate in a series of public activities through which they can interact with people who are in prison or jail, corrections officers, victims of crime, and others who have firsthand experience with the correctional system.

Governors Take Action to Launch National Initiative Promoting Connections with People Closest to Correctional System

Governors Take Action to Launch National Initiative Promoting Connections with People Closest to Correctional System

The initiative—sponsored by the National Reentry Resource Center and The CSG Justice Center in partnership with the Association of State Correctional Administrators, JustLeadershipUSA, and the National Center for Victims of Crime—will launch with a wave of public activities featuring both Republican and Democratic governors and other elected officials meeting with people impacted by the correctional system in their respective states.

A Message from the Chair and Vice Chair of the CSG Justice Center

A Message from the Chair and Vice Chair of the CSG Justice Center

As you may know, Michael D. Thompson, the director of The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, informed the leadership of the CSG Justice Center’s board and David Adkins, CEO of the Council of State Governments, that he would be leaving the organization at the end of June to join The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Nevada Passes Juvenile Justice System Reform Act

Nevada Passes Juvenile Justice System Reform Act

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed legislation on June 16 in Carson City that seeks to strengthen public safety and improve outcomes for youth in that state’s justice system.

Tucson Community Nonprofit Grows with a Change in Housing Programming

Tucson Community Nonprofit Grows with a Change in Housing Programming

As the leaders of Old Pueblo Community Services (OPCS) can attest, the landscape of housing and reentry services is never static. For this nonprofit organization that serves people at risk of homelessness in Pima County, Arizona, the communities they work in, their clients, funding streams, and research into best practices all evolve over time—and OPCS’ leaders recognize the importance of evolving along with that landscape.

Get to Know the Expert: Q & A with Michael Pinard

Get to Know the Expert: Q & A with Michael Pinard

The CSG Justice Center staff spoke with board member Michael Pinard—the Francis and Harriet Iglehart Professor of Law and co-director of the Clinical Law Program at the University of Maryland (UM) Francis King Carey School of Law—about his thoughts on record clearance, drawing on his experiences as a public defender, professor, and co-founder of UM’s Reentry Clinic.

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives to Help Chambers Implement Fair Hiring Practices in their Communities

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives to Help Chambers Implement Fair Hiring Practices in their Communities

The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, in partnership with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, has been awarded a $500,000 contract to help support businesses in hiring people with criminal records. The proposal was selected by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Reentry Resource Center in a competitive process from a pool of more than 60 applicants.