Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's baaaaa-aaack! Another Second Chance...

This local news source is covering a new bill that FAMM is supporting:  the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, S. 1231.

Sound familiar?  That's because S. 1231 aims to resurrect the Second Chance Act, which became a law in 2008 but expired in 2010.  The Second Chance Act gave Congress the go-ahead to spend millions on reentry programs across the country.  S. 1231 would "reauthorize" the Second Chance Act, providing the authorization (but not the funds) to fund more reentry programs, till 2016.  If it passes, S. 1231, would also revive the Elderly and Family Reunification for Certain Nonviolent Offenders Pilot Program, which allows federal prisoners to move select elderly offenders from cells to their homes.  S. 1231 lowers the age limit needed to qualify for the program from 65 to 60.

Perhaps most importantly, S. 1231 would allow federal prisoners to earn an extra 60 days of "good credit time" off of their sentences each year, if they complete certain reentry preparation programs.

What's notable:  S. 1231 has bipartisan support, introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH).  Reentry is one area where legislators apparently agree that more federal money (and incentives for prisoners) is needed.

Read up on the S. 1231 here.  It's not a law yet, but we'll be monitoring its progress at www.famm.org.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

If you are really interested in "second chances" why are you not screaming loudly in support of legislation such as Congressman Steve Cohen's HR2449 thr "Fresh Start Act of 2011"?

Reentry programs are necessary and badly needed by many. However, there are also many who are educated and trained and only need the federal government to remove the roadblocks to employment and the civil death sentenceimposed by a conviction.