REDUCING RECIDIVISM RATES TO BETTER PROTECT OUR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN -- (Extensions of Remarks - November 09, 2007)
SPEECH OF HON. CHARLES B. RANGEL OF NEW YORK IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2007
* Mr. RANGEL. Madam Speaker, I rise today to urge that more be done to reduce the rates of recidivism in our Nation's swelling prisons. We must work--intelligently and compassionately--to better reintegrate former prisoners into our society, and the Second Chance Act of 2007 is effective on both counts. It intelligently saves taxpayer dollars and works to bolster public safety, investing resources in a consortium of services proven to keep ex-offenders on the right path. It compassionately addresses the prevalence of substance abuse and poor mental health in that group, and strives to strengthen broken families so that children may stand to benefit.
* Our prison system is a revolving door, leaving many without the ample skill or support necessary to become productive members of society. It's why a staggering majority of state prisoners are released only to find themselves back behind bars at least 3 years later. An increasing number of formerly incarcerated citizens are without suitable education, physical and mental health, employment, or mentoring services--the kind this measure would assist in providing.
* A central tenet of our criminal justice system is rehabilitation. We must not abandon that fruitful and moral imperative. About 650,000 people are released from prison each year, and it is incumbent upon us to take preventive measures for the sake of our communities and our children. We owe it to them to do far, far more.