For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 9, 2008
Fact Sheet: President Bush Signs Second Chance Act of 2007
President Bush Signs H.R. 1593, the Second Chance Act of 2007
"America is the land of
second chance, and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should
lead to a better life."
President George W. Bush, 2004
State of the Union Address
Today, President Bush signed into law the Second Chance Act of
2007. The Second Chance Act (H.R. 1593) will help transform lives
and build safer communities by helping prisoners who are returning to society
break cycles of crime and start new lives. The legislation formally authorizes
key elements of the successful Prisoner Reentry Initiative (PRI), announced by
the President in 2004, to help prisoners effectively reintegrate into the
community. Additionally, the Second Chance Act enhances drug treatment,
mentoring, and transitional services for ex-offenders through partnerships with
local corrections agencies and faith-based and community organizations.
Second Chance Act Formalizes The Prisoner Reentry Initiative.
In his 2004 State of the Union address, President
Bush announced the PRI to help released inmates find
work and make a fresh start in life after prison. Expanding upon the successful Ready4Work pilot
program, PRI links returning adult nonviolent offenders with faith-based and
community organizations that help them find work, connect with mentors, and
avoid relapse into criminal activity.
- PRI is yielding results for America's
ex-offenders. In the first two years of the program, more than 12,800
offenders have enrolled in the prisoner reentry program. More than 7,900
offenders have been placed in jobs. Only 18 percent of those enrolled in the
program have been arrested again within one year less than half the estimated
- PRI is a signature program of the
President's Faith-Based and Community Initiative. To
meet the individual needs of recently released ex-offenders as they transition
back to society, PRI connects these individuals with faith-based and other
nonprofit organizations within their community.
- PRI is a
collaborative effort between the U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Labor (DOL) to help
reduce recidivism in urban centers and other areas with the greatest need.
- DOJ grants are awarded to State agencies for
pre-release services to partner anti-recidivism efforts with those of faith-based
and community organizations.
- DOL funds are awarded to faith-based and
community organizations that provide a variety of assistance to returning
prisoners, including workforce development services, job training, counseling,
and other reentry services.
- The law signed today assists States and
local government entities, in partnership with nonprofit organizations, to
establish prisoner reentry demonstration projects. Demonstration projects
- Education, vocational training, and job placement
- Coordinated supervision for offenders upon
release, including housing and mental and physical health care
- Programs that encourage offenders to develop
safe, healthy, and responsible family and parent-child relationships
The Second Chance Act Extends The President's Vision For Ensuring
Returning Prisoners Have The Opportunity to Start New Lives.
President Bush has championed prisoner reentry and other
initiatives to transform lives and cut crime through programs like DOJ's
Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) and Anti-Gang
Initiative, DOL's Ready4Work program, and the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services' Mentoring Children of Prisoners program.
- Along with delivering vital services, these
programs advance innovation in reducing crime and breaking cycles of
recidivism. By funding social entrepreneurs to expand prisoner reentry
programs that couple efforts of corrections agencies and nonprofit
organizations, the Administration is providing venture capital to build
effective reentry models that can be replicated at the State and local level.
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