The Second Chance Act of 2007

Henry, J. (2009) "The Second Chance Act of 2007," Criminal Law Bulletin, 45:3

20 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2013

Date Written: Summer 2009


The Second Chance Act of 2007: Community Safety Through Recidivism Prevention ("SCA") is an initiative "to reduce recidivism, increase public safety and help State and local governments better address the growing population of ex-offenders returning to their communities." Part I of this article sets out the reentry landscape in which the SCA was passed and examines the new rehabilitative model that is reflected in the SCA. Part II of this article examines the SCA’s expansion of drug-related programming, including its call for prosecution drug treatment alternatives to incarceration and its amendment of the definition of "violent offender." It also examines the call for family-based substance abuse treatment in community settings and in prisons. Part III of this article analyzes the SCA’s authorization for the creation of reentry courts, its expansion of authorized reentry services and its creation of recidivism reduction targets as a condition of funding. Part IV of this article considers the federal prison reentry initiative, which requires the Director of the Bureau of Prisons to remove obstacles to reentry, expands drug treatment and placement in community correctional facility, and pilots an early release program for non-violent offenders over the age of sixty-five. Finally, Part V of this article highlights the limitations of the SCA, including its failure to amend federal laws that create obstacles to reentry in the first instance and its authorized funding allocations.

Keywords: "Second Chance Act," reentry, ex-offender

Suggested Citation

Henry, Jessica, The Second Chance Act of 2007 (Summer 2009). Henry, J. (2009) "The Second Chance Act of 2007," Criminal Law Bulletin, 45:3, Available at SSRN:

Jessica Henry (Contact Author)

Montclair State University ( email )

Department of Justice Studies
1 Normal Avenue
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043
United States

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