The Second Chance Act and the Future of Reentry Reform
Michael M. O'Hear
Marquette University - Law School
Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2007
Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 07-15
Recently passed by the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support and currently awaiting action in the Senate, the Second Chance Act of 2007 (H.R. 1593) would authorize about $340 million in new spending on programs that support the reintegration of returning prisoners to their communities. If enacted, the SCA would represent a new milestone in the growing influence of the prisoner reentry movement, which has focused public attention on the daunting obstacles facing returning prisoners who seek to rebuild their lives as productive citizens. This essay, which introduces a forthcoming issue of the Federal Sentencing Reporter devoted to the SCA and the challenges of reentry, critiques aspects of the SCA, considers the implications of the reentry movement for sentencing, and argues that reentry-based reforms should not be conceptualized primarily as recidivism reduction measures, but as opportunities to fulfill ethical obligations to some of the most marginalized and disadvantaged members of society.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 11
Keywords: prisoner reentry, Second Chance Act, reentry, recidivism
Date posted: December 20, 2007 ; Last revised: December 23, 2013
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