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Second Chance Act

What is the purpose of the Second Chance Act?

The Second Chance Act of 2007 aims to reduce recidivism, rebuild ties between defendants/offenders and their families, support evidence-based practices, protect the public, and assist offenders in establishing a self-sustaining life.

In the past, the authority to contract for services had been limited to those individuals suffering from substance abuse or mental health disorders. The services had to be specifically aimed at addressing an individual's dependency or mental health problems.

The Second Chance Act authorizes "providing necessary services to a manner that does not confer luxuries, privileges or is construed as creating an entitlement to the assistance or services authorized."

What services does the Second Chance Act cover?

Emergency Services

This includes referring to individuals who have pressing, immediate needs. Individuals must have first exhausted all personal options and resources. Also, the assigned officer must have been unable to find free community resources. Examples of emergency services:

Transportation (i.e. Released from custody and need emergency transportation, one time only)
Identification (i.e. Pay to purchase state ID)
Shelter (i.e. Ineligible for community resources(sex offender, serious mental disorder))
Medication/Health Care (i.e. Upon release, an individual lacks blood pressure medication)
Utilities (i.e. An individual is facing life-threatening situations, not for past due utilities, one time only)

Transitional Services

This would include a broad spectrum of services that are long term and address an individual's actual risk and needs assessment.

The assigned officer is required to notify the Court and request a modification for a special condition for transitional services.

These services are intended for individuals who are medium to high.

The services will not extend beyond an individual's term of supervision. Examples of transitional services:

Vocational/Occupational Career and Report
Job Readiness Training
Group Career Counseling
Job Training
Cognitive Behavior Group
General Education
Testing/Work Skills Evaluation & Reports
And more...

Who is eligible for these services?

Federal defendants and offenders who are on supervision and meet the above criteria.