August 17, 2007
ACTION ALERT!: GIVE EX-PRISONERS A (SECOND) CHANCE
"Folsom Prison Blues" gets old after awhile
With one glaring exception, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle seem to agree that prisoners who have served out their sentences deserve a fair shake at making it on the outside. The Second Chance Act, which is due for a full vote in both the House and Senate, has received bipartisan backing.
Second Chance has a "very good chance" of becoming law, according to Gene Guerrero, senior policy analyst at the Open Society Policy Center, which supports the legislation. "Other than Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, there has been no real opposition," Guerrero said. "Leadership in both Houses are committed to this great bill."
Here's hoping Guerrero has it right: Two-thirds of the 650,000 inmates who are released from prison each year end up incarcerated again within three years. Second Chance would help reduce that number by providing grants for job training, enhanced drug treatment and prison-based family treatment programs for incarcerated parents of minor children.
Calls to House and Senate leaders can make a huge difference to the outcome of this legislation, so take a sec to let them know you support the Second Chance Act. Contact House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at 202-225-0100 and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at 202-224-3542.