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House Funding Bill Includes $70 million for Second Chance Act
By The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center
Published: 04/20/2012

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 jburdette@csg.org.


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