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Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

House Passes Bill Funding Second Chance Act

June 5, 2014 | Federal Budget | Justice | Comments
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The House last week voted to approve the Commerce-Justice-Science 2015 federal spending bill, which funds Department of Justice programs such as the Second Chance Act. First established in 2008, the Second Chance Act was designed to help prisoners effectively reintegrate into the community. The Act established grants for government agencies and nonprofits to provide services that reduce recidivism by improving outcomes for people returning from prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities.

The House-passed funding bill provides $27.8 billion for Department of Justice programs in fiscal year 2015, an increase of $383 million over current spending. Under this bill, the Second Chance Act would be funded at $65.8 million, a reduction of $1.9 million from fiscal year 2014. Since 2010, the Second Chance Act has seen its funding steadily cut from $100 million.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has yet to release its version of the Commerce-Justice-Science funding bill. Appropriations bills must be passed by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, as well as the full House and Senate.