August 23, 2012
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) today congratulated the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) and the Sandusky County Reentry Task Force for being awarded competitive grants by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to fund their important Second Chance Act Programs. Portman was the author of the original legislation that was introduced in 2004 when he was in the U.S. House of Representatives. ODRC was selected by DOJ for $666,460 funding in the Second Chance Act Adult Offender Comprehensive Statewide Recidivism Reduction Demonstration Program. Sandusky County was selected to receive $687,527 by DOJ for funding in the FY12 Second Chance Act Adult Offender Reentry Program for Planning and Demonstration Projects: Implementation Projects.
“Second Chance Act programs, in collaboration with government entities, faith-based and community organizations, and local reentry coalitions, have a proven record of helping inmates turn their lives around and become productive members of society, and I am glad that DOJ has recognized the important work of these two Ohio programs,” Portman said.
“Gary Mohr, Director of ODRC, and Ed Rhine, Deputy Director of ODRC and Acting Chair of my Reentry Advisory Team, are good friends who have gone above and beyond in helping rural communities that lack resources to decrease offender recidivism, and I am thrilled that this funding will enable them to continue their laudable efforts.
“In addition, the grant funding provided to Sandusky County will enhance its ability to provide workforce development opportunities and training for offenders reentering the community, in addition to substance and alcohol abuse counseling.”
Portman sent letters to the Bureau of Justice Assistance Director Denise O’Donnell to bring attention to these two competitive grant applications.
The Second Chance Act, enacted in 2008, represents a federal investment in evidenced-based strategies to reduce recidivism and increase public safety, as well as lessen the financial burden of corrections on state and local governments. It provides resources and support to local corrections agencies, nonprofits, education institutions, service providers, and families to help offenders reintegrate into their communities. Portman introduced HR4676, the Second Chance Act of 2004, for the first time when he was in the U.S. House of Representatives during the 108th Congress.
For over a decade, Portman has been an advocate in the area of reentry and has been a recipient of many awards. Most recently, he was honored with the President’s Award by the International Community Corrections Association in March of 2011. In the Senate, he has continued to burnish his reputation as a champion of reentry efforts while also continuing to push for budgetary restraint, cosponsoring, along with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the bipartisan Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2011.
As Portman moves forward in his duties to represent Ohio, he remains committed to finding solutions to reduce recidivism.