WASHINGTON—Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on today’s bipartisan introduction of the Second Chance Reauthorization Act and the release of a new report from The Leadership Conference outlining a comprehensive policy agenda to ease the re-entry process entitled “A Second Chance: Charting a New Course for Re-Entry and Criminal Justice Reform:
“Today’s introduction of the Second Chance Reauthorization Act is another undeniable sign of bipartisan momentum for criminal justice reform. The lead sponsors of this bill, Senators Portman and Leahy and Representatives Sensenbrenner, Davis, Bachus, Scott, Coble, Fudge, Chabot, and Conyers, come from different sides of the aisle but all understand that these reforms to our criminal justice system are both morally right and financially sound.
The bill introduction coincides with the release of a new report from The Leadership Conference entitled “A Second Chance: Charting a New Course for Re-Entry and Criminal Justice Reform.” The report outlines a policy agenda for easing the re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals into society, leading to a nation that’s safer, more economically sound, and more humane.
A prison system that focuses primarily on punishment, rather than rehabilitation—and creates barriers to family unification, employment, education, and civic participation—makes it increasingly difficult for people to reintegrate into their communities. Passing the Second Chance Reauthorization Act is among a number of concrete policies outlined in the report that our nation can implement with bipartisan support. All we must find is the will to do so.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.