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November 15, 2007 - FedCURE (US)

HR 1593, Second Chance Act of 2007, Passes U.S. House by Wide Margin

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The Second Chance Act passed the House on November 13, 2007 by a vote of 347 to 62. All Democrats present voted for it and over two thirds of the Republicans did as well. On November 14 there was a news conference at which several sponsors spoke: Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT), Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI) (CBC Chair), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). Several members of the reentry working group also spoke as did Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson. Below is a statement by Rep. Tubbs Jones:

Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones released this statement following the House of Representatives consideration of the Second Chance Act, bipartisan reentry legislation of which she is an original co-sponsor.

"I have been waiting nearly 30 years for Congress to enact meaningful reentry legislation, as I have been deeply involved in prisoner reentry issues since my days as a judge and county prosecutor in Cleveland, Ohio before serving in Congress. While Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, I helped establish the 'Pretrial Diversion Program,' as well as the 'Municipal Drug Court.' Both programs, I am proud to say, still exist and continue to help ex-offenders move on with their lives and become productive citizens of society.

"Prisoner reentry is not a Democratic or Republican issue. It is a common sense issue. The facts are clear-meaningful reentry programs significantly diminish the chances that ex-offenders will return to prison. That saves taxpayer dollars and increases public safety. So why not invest in enhancing reentry programs in order to end the cycle of recidivism? That is exactly what the Second Chance Act does.

"In 2002, two million people were incarcerated in all federal and state prisons. Each year, nearly 650,000 people are released from prison to communities nationwide. Nearly two thirds of released prisoners are expected to be re-arrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within three years of their release.

"The State of Ohio has one of the largest populations of ex-offenders re-entering the community, with about 24,000 ex-offenders returning to their respective communities annually. Of those ex-offenders, about 6,000 will return to Cuyahoga County and almost 5,000 will re-enter in the City of Cleveland. Statewide, about 40 percent of ex-offenders will return to prison. In Cuyahoga County, about 41 percent will return to prison. Such high recidivism rates translate into thousands of new crimes each year and wasted taxpayer dollars, which can be averted through improved prisoner reentry efforts.

"This legislation allocates $360 million towards a variety of reentry programs. One of the main components of the bill is the funding of demonstration projects that would provide ex-offenders with a coordinated continuum of housing, education, health, employment, and mentoring services. This broad array of services would provide stability and make the transition for ex-offenders easier, in turn reducing recidivism.

"This legislation is critical to successful re-entry of offenders. The bill provides as a beginning the essential ingredients necessary to assure public safety and recovery. It will help begin the process of breaking down barriers to successful re-entry and allow offenders and their families the tools necessary to break the cycle of criminality."

To view Rep. Tubbs Jones full statement on the House Floor regarding the Second Chance Act, please visit§iontree=23,27.

Second Chance Act: Other Resources

(Text) Second Chance Act of 2007; H.R. 1593

PASSED U.S. House (11/13/07) (A Bill to reauthorize the grant program for reentry of offenders into the community in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, to improve reentry planning and implementation, and for other purposes. (20 March 2007) -

"The Second Chance Act" H.R. 1593 - Floor Debate (11/13/07)

House Session Floor Debate Notes. November 13, 2007. Washington, DC

"The Second Chance Act" - Press Release Pack (11/14/07)

FedCURE's Press Release Pack Contains: Press Release from Rep. Danny K. Davis (ILL); Organizations Support List; National Governors Association Letter in Support of Re-Entry; Side-by-Side Comparison of H.R. 1593 and S. 1060. (.zip file)

House Floor Debate Notes (11/13/07)

Compiled by: Julia Fantacone, KSC&W, for FedCURE

Roll call vote on HR 1593, The Second Chance Act-Here are the Yeas and Nays:

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