Urge Congress to Renew Programs That Reduce Recidivism

SCA 300x200Despite receiving a handful of nominations, Netflix’s hit series “Orange Is the New Black” received just three Emmys this week. The prison dramedy provides millions of viewers with a Hollywood perspective about life inside a women’s federal corrections institution with a particular focus on Piper Chapman, a woman with an upper-middle-class background, as she adapts to life in prison.

While millions (myself included) find the show to be incredibly entertaining, it has only briefly addressed what happens to inmates once they are released. The sad facts are that the United States incarcerates more people per capita than any other country in the world, with approximately 2.3 million people in prisons or jails. Of the 700,000 people who are released from prison each year, research finds that approximately two-thirds will return within three years of their release.

In response to these disturbing statistics, Congress enacted the Second Chance Act in 2008 to establish and shape programs that aim to help returning prisoners successfully transition back into and positively contribute to society. Since the Second Chance Act’s enactment, nearly 600 grants have provided approximately $300 million for the development, implementation and coordination of pre- and post-release re-entry services, such as employment training. In 2014, Goodwill® worked to help nearly 150,000 people who have criminal backgrounds to overcome this significant employment challenge. A portion of the services provided by Goodwill to people with criminal backgrounds are supported by the Second Chance Act.

Congress is on the verge of advancing the Second Chance Reauthorization Act (S. 1690/H.R. 3465). Among other things, the bill would extend the act for five years, expand existing correctional education and employment initiatives, increase the number of grant programs available to nonprofits, and improve accountability.

Goodwill supports this bipartisan legislation and urges Congress to pass the bill this year. Sources on Capitol Hill inform us that the Senate Judiciary Committee is likely to consider the bill in September. The House may advance the bill soon after. Additional co-sponsors would help the bill’s chances for success. To urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, follow the link that corresponds to your involvement with Goodwill.

Public supporters click here.

Goodwill staff click here.

Goodwill CEOs click here.

4 comments on “Urge Congress to Renew Programs That Reduce Recidivism
  1. I represent a PIPER from the movie, I can say by experience that there is very little help for people that have a felony. I have been out for a year now and I have only gotten discriminated, rejected and treated like a criminal every time I say I have a felony on my record. I only served 22 days and that destroyed my life and the life of my children and the people that I took the money from didn’t even press charges against me, it was a Bank four years later. Now am in shelters and no one would give me a second chance at a job. This is supposed to be the land of opportunities and is the land that discriminates the most.
    I can’t believe that a judge will try to teach me a lesson by putting me in jail for 22 days, so when I came out I have to be supported by the government itself. When I could of just gotten probation and sent back to work and be able to support my children so the government didn’t have to. I have never asked for public assistance in my life, I raised my children on my own, didn’t even know shelters for single moms existed and now I find my self in the lowest of the lowest and you are supposed to get out and go about like that never happened, what a joke. Now, to start from scratch like my life experiences and knowledge meant nothing.
    Sorry just venting, but yes supporting funding for this programs would be great.

    Have a wonderful day and thanks for reading this. 🙂

  2. I approve of Re-Authorization of the Second Chance Act and hope that the Congress will soon vote funding for this. BTW I am not a recently released convict.

  3. I wanted to personally thank Goodwill Industries for having the heart and the voice to help individuals who have been incarcerated to have a better life. My father never had a chance because of the lack of programs to help him adust to life in the outside world when he was released from prison. He didnt know how to use a cell phone and had trouble adjusting to the many changes. I hope another life might be saved and another individual may get help, because my father never did. I am willing to help you promote this project by providing my voice abd experiences.

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