An Illinois congressman is pushing for re-authorization of the Second Chance Act. The law provides grants to local governments and community groups to help those getting out of prison adjust to life outside, lose their drug habit and get a job, all of which helps them not commit new crimes, says U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Chicago).
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“When they get help, the recidivism rate goes down, and we know that the better the quality, and the more intense the help, the further down it goes. And if individuals are able to obtain a meaningful job, then many of them will never see the inside of a jail or prison again,” Davis said today (Wednesday) as he announced he is filing legislation to re-authorize the law, along with Sen. Bob Portman (R-Ohio).
The original law was signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. In the first three years, 2009-11, 11 Illinois organizations received a total of $5.1 million to keep ex-offenders from re-offending. In 2011, the Illinois Department of Corrections discharged 30,500 men and women. Last year, the federal government committed $63 million nationally to ex-offender re-entry programs under the Second Chance Act.