Senate Bill to Support Reentry Programs Reintroduced
Last week, Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Danny K. Davis (D-IL) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Second Chance Act, a law that supports state and local reentry programs to reduce relapse and provides people leaving prison with post-release supportive services, including mental health and addiction treatment.
The Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2017 (H.R. 2899) reauthorizes many federal programs to address a wide-range of different and diverse audiences, including:
- The Adult and Juvenile Offender State and Local Reentry Demonstration Project Grant Program: Promoting successful reintegration into the community of individuals who have been incarcerated, the program strengthens support for grantees with programs that target offenders with histories of homelessness, substance abuse, or mental illness.
- Family-Based Substance Abuse Treatment Grants: This program – maintained at level funding of $10 million per year through 2022 – establishes or enhances residential substance use treatment programs in correctional facilities that include recovery and family supportive services. The bill expands those eligible to receive grants to include nonprofit organizations, as well as state and local governments, and gives priority consideration to nonprofit organizations with demonstrated relationships to State and local agencies.
- Offender Reentry Substance Abuse and Criminal Justice Collaboration Program: Maintained at existing funding levels of $15 million per year through 2022, this program funds grants to improve drug treatment, develop programs for supervision of individuals with substances use, strengthen rehabilitation efforts, and establish pharmacological drug treatment services as part of programs offered to incarcerated individuals.
- Improves, Consolidates and Coordinates Federal Reentry Programs: The bill requires that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) establish a comprehensive prisoner reentry program, assist incarcerated individuals in obtaining identification prior to their release, and work with the Department of Labor to incentivize employers to hire former prisoners. The bill also codifies existing efforts to coordinate reentry efforts throughout the federal government.
- Creates the Partnerships to Expand Access to Reentry Programs Proven to Reduce Recidivism: A new program which will allow certain faith-based nonprofit organizations to partner with local and federal prisons to provide mentoring or other programming demonstrated to decrease recidivism.