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Blog

Criminal Records Still Plague Reentry for Rehabilitated Offenders

As Congress reflects on its success in passing the First Step Act at the end of 2018, it must look toward ways to build on the existing momentum. The First Step Act was constructed to shift our justice system toward ensuring that we are incarcerating the right people for the right amount of time and that while people are incarcerated, our correctional system is using resources wisely to rehabilitate inmates. It makes steps toward reentry initiatives following incarceration by reauthorizing the Second Chance Act but leaves much still to be done in the space of breaking down barriers to reentry to allow rehabilitated inmates to be successful in society.

02/22/2019
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Blog

An Opportunity for a Second Chance

Justice reform has been a big issue over the past few years. One such issue that has been getting a lot of attention is how a prior criminal record can impact an individual in the future. For that reason, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) have introduced the Renew Act, H.R. 2617. If passed, this bill would give young adults who had previously had committed a nonviolent first-offense a second chance.

05/24/2017
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Blog

Support the Renew Act, H.R. 2617

On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representatives and urge them to cosponsor the Renew Act, H.R. 2617, introduced by Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). The bill would expand the qualifying age for expungement of a simple possession conviction for nonviolent, low-level, first-time drug offenders.

05/24/2017
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Blog

Fair Chances: How Lawmakers Can Disrupt the Cycle of Crime and Poverty

Much of the efforts to reform the justice system have been concentrated on front-end sentencing and back-end reentry reform. When it comes to sentencing reform, the idea is that a punishment should fit the crime. Rather than lengthy sentences mandated by big government politicians that ostensibly warehouse low-level, nonviolent offenders, judges should have the option to more appropriate sentences, including diversion programs. For offenders already in the prison system, rehabilitative programming -- such as work training and education -- would provide them with the means to learn skills so they can live productive, honest lives after they return to society.

09/22/2015