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Governor's Re-entry Council (REC)
Second Chance Act
The Second Chance Act is a response to the increasing number of people who return to their communities from prison and jail. There are currently 1.7 million people serving time in our federal and state prisons, and millions of people cycling through local jails every year. Ninety-five percent of all prisoners incarcerated today will eventually be released. The Second Chance Act will help ensure the transition people make from incarceration to the community is safe and successful.
Key Provisions
  • Demonstration Grants. Provides grants to states and local governments that may be used to promote the safe and successful reintegration into the community of individuals who have been incarcerated. Allowable uses of funds include employment services, substance abuse treatment, housing, family programming, mentoring, victims services and methods to improve release and revocation decisions using risk-assessment tools.
  • Mentoring Grants. Provides grants to nonprofit organizations that may be used for mentoring adult offenders or offering transitional services for reintegration into the community.
  • Offender Re-entry Substance Abuse Treatment. Creates grants to improve the availability of drug treatment to offenders in prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities.
  • Family Drug Treatment Programs. Authorizes grants to states, local governments, and Indian tribes to develop and implement family-based treatment programs for incarcerated parents who have minor children.
  • Federal Re-entry Initiative. Provides guidance to the Bureau of Prisons for enhanced re-entry planning procedures. Specific information on health, employment, personal finance, release requirements and community resources shall be provided to each inmate released.
  • Re-entry Research. Authorizes the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics to conduct re-entry-related research.
  • National Adult and Juvenile Offender Re-entry Resource Center. Establishes a national resource center to collect and disseminate best practices and to provide training on and support for re-entry efforts.
How do these grants work? Do states apply? To what agency?
There are two grant programs in this bill. First, the bill reauthorizes and expands the existing Re-entry Demonstration Program. States and local governments can apply for funds through the Department of Justice. The authorized funding level for the Demonstration program is $65 million per year.
Second, the bill provides a small grant program for Mentoring Prisoners to be administered by the Department of Justice. The authorized funding level for the Mentoring program is $15 million per year.
Second Chance Act (pdf)


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