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Brownback Applauds Senate Passage of Second Chance Act

Bill to decrease recidivism rates now heads to President's desk

Contact: Brian Hart/Becky Ogilvie, Sam Brownback, United States Senator - Kansas, 202-224-6521

WASHINGTON, March 12 /Standard Newswire/ -- U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today applauded Senate passage of the Second Chance Act, legislation which seeks to combat the high rates of prisoner recidivism. 

"I am very pleased that my Senate colleagues were able to pass legislation that will help combat the high rates of prisoner recidivism in America," said Brownback.  "Everybody – the ex-offender, the ex-offender's family, and society at large – benefits from programs that equip prisoners with the proper tools to successfully reintegrate into life outside of the prison walls.  I am hopeful that with this legislation we will begin to see tangible results as governments and non-profit organizations work together to help ex-offenders."

Last night, the Senate by unanimous consent passed the Second Chance Act.  The legislation last November passed the House of Representatives, and will now head to the President's desk to be signed into law. 

Brownback continued, "In 1982, American taxpayers spent approximately $9 billion on corrections.  In 2002, that number increased to $60 billion.  Currently, 1% of Americans are incarcerated.  We must stop subsidizing prison programs that do not work and instead focus on programs that will help combat high rates of recidivism."

Currently, almost two-thirds of the 600,000 individuals released from prison will be re-arrested.  The Second Chance Act creates grant programs for state and local governments to be used for reentry programs such as job-training, literacy programs and substance abuse programs.  The legislation also includes provisions for grant allocation to non-profit organizations for mentoring programs to aid inmates and their families, with special focus on the children of incarcerated individuals.