Prison-to-work programs over all are “desperately inadequate,” said Devah Pager, a Harvard sociologist. “At the moment, there’s very little systematic provision of assistance to match ex-offenders with jobs at release,” said Ms. Pager, whose research focuses on the barriers that race and criminal records pose in the workplace.
Second Chance Act
The Second Chance Act (SCA) supports state, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations in their work to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for people returning from state and federal prisons, local jails, and juvenile facilities. Passed with bipartisan support and signed into law on April 9, 2008, SCA legislation authorizes federal grants for vital programs and systems reform aimed at improving the reentry process.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) funds and administers the Second Chance Act grants. Within OJP, the Bureau of Justice Assistance awards SCA grants serving adults, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awards grants serving youth. Since 2009, more than 700 awards have been made to grantees across 49 states.
Current and Past Programs:
Statewide Juvenile Reentry Systems Reform
Supporting Latino/a Youth from Out-of-Home Placement to the Community
Strengthening Families and Children of Incarcerated Parents
Who is eligible to apply for grants? Depending on the specific Second Chance Act grant program, state and local government agencies, federally recognized Indian tribes, and nonprofit organizations may be eligible to apply. Please review the pages on each grant program to determine eligibility.
When can I apply for grants? Solicitations for Second Chance Act applications are typically released throughout the first half of each calendar year. Please subscribe to updates from the National Reentry Resource Center to hear about these solicitations and other funding opportunities.
Is it allowable to assist persons reentering the community from federal prisons under a Second Chance Act program? Yes. Grantees receiving Second Chance Act funds may use those funds to provide assistance to individuals returning to the community following incarceration, including incarceration in a federal prison.
Is it allowable to assist exonerees under a Second Chance Act program? Yes. Grantees receiving Second Chance Act funds may use those funds to provide assistance to exonerees, along with other individuals returning to the community following incarceration
How can I find Second Chance Act programs near me? The National Criminal Justice Initiatives Map has information on where grantees of the Second Chance Act and other federal grant programs are located.
Second Chance Act in the News
Federal attorneys met with tribal public defenders and officials from the state prison system to talk about re-entry: helping former inmates successfully reintegrate into their communities when they get out of jail or prison.
When a person is released from prison, the first 90 days are critical, said Landee Holloway, felony probation and parole re-entry officer for the Montana Department of Corrections.