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What is the Second Chance Act for inmates?

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Quick Answer

The Second Chance Act is a law that was enacted in 2008 to help reduce recidivism and improve the chances of a prisoner's success in association with re-entry into society. President George Bush enacted the law during his reign as United States President.

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Before the law was enacted, federal prisoners were often able to enter a halfway house or home incarceration a maximum of six months before the expiration of the original sentence, or the last 10 percent of the offender's sentence. The Second Chance Act expands that amount of time to up to the last 12 months of an inmate's sentence, as of 2015. It is believed that increasing this time span not only reduces the amount of time an inmate spends behind bars, it provides the inmate with a fair and credible way to ready himself for re-entry into society.

The Second Chance Act authorizes grants to nonprofit organizations and government agencies to provide support and services to offenders facing re-entry to society at the end of their sentences. This includes community-based correction institutions, such as halfway houses, job training facilities and job placement programs. The grant programs are funded by the Office of Justice Programs, which is managed by the United States Department of Justice.

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