Washington, D.C. — Today, as part of Second Chance Month, the Biden administration announced comprehensive actions to expand second chance opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals. These actions include granting clemency to 78 people; a first-of-its-kind $145 million partnership between the U.S. departments of Justice and Labor to invest in job training and reentry support in federal prisons; and more than 20 new agency actions that would expand federal job opportunities and access to health care and housing, as well as develop education opportunities.
Following the announcement, Akua Amaning, director for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
Every year, more than 600,000 people are released from prison. For returning citizens, accessing essential life resources such as stable housing, meaningful employment, quality education, and health care can be challenging when a record carries such a strong stigma. The barriers of having a record not only affect the record-holder but can have lasting consequences for their families and communities as well.
Second chance measures, such as those the Biden administration announced today, are critical to ensuring that individuals who have paid their debts to society and are ready to contribute to their communities can have a fair chance at doing so. Today’s announcement marks a strong step toward investing in comprehensive reform measures that seek to meaningfully address the barriers to reentry that far too many returning citizens face when trying to rebuild their lives. We applaud President Joe Biden’s efforts and hope to work with the administration moving forward to ensure that all returning citizens have equitable access to a second chance.
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