Tag: second chance act

Understanding the Second Chance Act

A radio segment I taped a few weeks ago on the newly passed Second Chance Act will air tonight at 6:00 pm ET on XM Satellite Radio Channel 169 -- the Power --it's also available now online at (The Urban Journal with Keith Murphy).

The channel is described as "Conversation about social, political, and economic issues from the African American perspective."

The actual audio of the segment is here. It starts about one minute in (after the intro music.)

Mr. Murphy is an excellent host and asked terrific questions.

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Bush Signs Second Chance Act Into Law

Bump and Update: President Bush signed the Second Chance Act into law today. Here are his remarks.

The country was built on the belief that each human being has limitless potential and worth. Everybody matters. We believe that even those who have struggled with a dark past can find brighter days ahead. One way we act on that belief is by helping former prisoners who've paid for their crimes -- we help them build new lives as productive members of our society.

Our government has a responsibility to help prisoners to return as contributing members of their community. But this does not mean that the government has all the answers. Some of the most important work to help ex-convicts is done outside of Washington, D.C., in faith-based communities and community-based groups. It's done on streets and small town community centers. It's done in churches and synagogues and temples and mosques.

...The bill I'm signing today, the Second Chance Act of 2007, will build on work to help prisoners reclaim their lives. In other words, it basically says: We're standing with you, not against you.


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NYTimes: Pass the Second Chance Act

The New York Times has an editorial today on the report released by the Pew Center last week and its statistics showing that 1 in every 100 Americans are in jail or prison.

The Times advocates the passage of the Second Chance Act (S. 1060: Recidivism Reduction and Second Chance Act of 2007). The bill would expand services to offenders and their families for reentry into society. In addition, it would:

Direct the Attorney General to award grants for: (1) state and local reentry courts; (2) Comprehensive and Continuous Offender Reentry Task Forces; (3) pharmacological drug treatment services to incarcerated offenders; (4) technology career training for offenders; and (5) mentoring services for reintegrating offenders into the community.

.... [and] Require the Director of the Bureau of Prisons to establish: (1) a prisoner reentry program; and (2) a pilot program for the release of elderly nonviolent offenders (age 60 or older).

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have signed as co-sponsors. The bill passed on the House side by a vote 347-62. So who's holding it up in the Senate?

It was Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) who, concerned about the cost, said he needed more time to study it. The bill is now sitting in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Let's get it passed.

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