February 26, 2009
On February 25, 2009, the House of Representatives passed an omnibus appropriations bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2009, which includes funding for the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The omnibus bill (H.R. 1105) is now under consideration in the Senate. Democratic leaders hope to take action on this bill by the end of next week, as the continuing resolution currently providing funding expires on March 6, 2009.
The omnibus bill passed by the House includes funding for the following criminal justice priorities:
- $25 million for the Second Chance Act, including $15 million for state and local demonstration grants and $10 million for nonprofit grants
- $108,493,000 for Department of Labor ex-offender activities
- $10 million for the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (which represents a $3.5 million increase over the FY08 appropriation)
- $532 million for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program
- $30 million for the Byrne Competitive Grant Program
- $40 million for drug courts
- $400 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP)
- $10 million for Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT)
President Obama Requests $75 Million for the Second Chance Act in FY 2010
In the preliminary budget for fiscal year 2010 released on February 26, 2009, President Obama requested $109 million for prisoner reentry programs, including $75 million for Second Chance Act programs. "I am indeed pleased that the President's proposed budget includes $75 million for Second Chance and I applaud him," said Second Chance Act sponsor Rep. Danny Davis (IL). "This investment of $75 million will bring tremendous returns. However, throughout the budget and appropriation processes, I shall be advocating and working for more."For more information about the Second Chance Act, visit the Reentry Policy Council website.