Rehabilitation and Reentry for Former Prisoners

The Problem:  Virtually all federal prisoners will return to society – and become our neighbors – someday. Currently, about 40 percent of all federal prisoners released will reoffend. It’s essential that we reduce recidivism (being rearrested or reconvicted for committing new crimes) by addressing offenders’ needs while they are incarcerated. All taxpayers should support a prison system that provides as many inmates as possible with meaningful, evidence-based, cost-effective rehabilitative programs like, for example, the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP), which treats addiction and reduces recidivism.

FAMM supported the Second Chance Act, which was passed by Congress in 2007 and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008.  That law authorized millions of dollars in funding for reentry and rehabilitation programs in state and federal prisons, jails, and communities. It also created a one-year pilot program that allowed the Bureau of Prisons to release elderly, nonviolent offenders to serve the remainder of their sentences under community supervision, saving taxpayers money on some of the prisoners who are the least dangerous, but most expensive and difficult to care for in prison. Unfortunately, the funding for these programs needs to be reauthorized by Congress, and the elderly offender release program lasted only one year and must also be reauthorized. 


  1. Reauthorize the Second Chance Act to provide more funding and programming for prisoner reentry and rehabilitation, to reduce recidivism and save taxpayer dollars
  2. Reauthorize an elderly offender early release program, and expand it so that more prisoners are eligible for its benefits.

In recent Congresses, there have been several bills introduced that would reauthorize the Second Chance Act. Unfortunately, these bills have not become law. FAMM supports the re-introduction and passage of a reauthorization bill as soon as possible.

Pending Bills in the 114th Congress:

There are no bills yet introduced in Congress that would reauthorize the Second Chance Act. Keep checking here for updates as bills are introduced.



FAQ: The Second Chance Act