Today House and Senate conferees restored $63 million to Second Chance in Fiscal Year 2012 Commerce, Justice, Science appropriation conference report. Continued funding will provide state and local agencies and nonprofit organizations much needed assistance in maintaining reintegration programs aimed at breaking the cycle of crime and recidivism while restoring family relationships. Moreover, continued funding comes at a time where the average American remains on the sidelines because of heightened uncertainty of our nation's economic direction.
Like the average American, the formerly incarcerated (returning citizens) are attempting to cope with the travails of economic turmoil record level percentage rates of unemployment, joblessness, uninsured, foreclosure, poverty, hunger and obesity. However, unlike the average American, returning citizens face a magnification of barriers compromising their ability to reconnect with family members and accessibility to employment opportunities vital to reducing recidivism. Second Chance attempts to remove barriers to reentry by providing government agencies and nonprofit organizations much needed resources for a more comprehensive approach to addressing the holistic needs of returning citizens, their families and communities.
"I commend my colleagues for their continued support in funding the first-of-its-kind bi-partisan progressive reentry program aimed at keeping the family intact and ensuring safer communities across the country. During these trying times, we can ill afford to deprive returning citizens access to training/jobs, mental/substance treatment, housing programs and family services and must ensure Second Chance reauthorization," said Rep. Danny K. Davis (IL-07) sponsor of the Second Chance.