Portman, Klobuchar Applaud Passage of Their Resolution Designating April as “Second Chance Month”
CINCINNATI, OH – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) applauded passage of their resolution to designate April 2021 as “Second Chance Month,” honoring those who work to remove unnecessary barriers that prevent those with a criminal record from becoming productive members of society. Portman, who is the author of the Second Chance Act, introduced a similar resolution in April 2019 and April 2018, which the Senate passed unanimously.
“I’m proud to lead the Senate effort to name April as Second Chance Month. Renewing and strengthening the idea that people deserve second chances is critical to our efforts to stop the revolving door of incarceration and help former inmates live up to their God-given potential,” said Portman. “Since the Second Chance Act was first signed into law in 2007, thousands of Ohioans and more than 164,000 people in 49 states have received reentry services, changing thousands of lives in Ohio and across the country. The mistakes of our past don’t have to define the potential for our future. By designating April as Second Chance Month, we are supporting those who are returning from prison and want a fair shot at living an honest and productive life by increasing public awareness and getting them the help they need.”
“As a former prosecutor, I know that our criminal justice system must ensure the fair administration of justice while keeping our communities safe. I also believe that people are capable of change and many deserve a second chance,” said Klobuchar. “This resolution will bring awareness to the challenges people face after they leave prison and promote opportunities for them to find jobs, continue their education, secure housing, and live productive lives once again.”
“We applaud Senators Portman and Klobuchar for, once again, recognizing our efforts in working to remove the unnecessary barriers that prevent those with a criminal record from becoming productive members of society,” said James Ackerman, President and Chief Executive Officer for Prison Fellowship. “The Senate’s passage of this resolution would take another bold step in helping Prison Fellowship and more than 500 organizations fight for those who have paid their debt to society. We believe these 70 million Americans with criminal records — one in three adults — can rise from their past, regain their dignity, and reach their God-given potential in life.”
NOTE: The First Step Act, signed into law on December 21, 2018, included the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, legislation co-authored by Senator Portman to reauthorize and strengthen the Second Chance Act, which supports state and local reentry programs to reduce recidivism. Then-Congressman Portman originally authored the Second Chance Act with the late-Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio in 2005, and it was later signed into law in 2008. Since 2009, more than 850 Second Chance Act grant awards have been made to government agencies and nonprofit organizations from 49 states for reentry programs serving adults and juveniles. As of June 2018, more than 164,000 individuals have participated in these programs. In total, Ohio has received more than $23 million in Second Chance Act grants since 2009, which includes funds to assist Ohioans re-entering the community with services such as job training, drug rehabilitation, case management and mental health treatment.