Number: 110-20
Date: April 11, 2008

President Signs Public Law 110-199, the “Second Chance Act of 2007”

On April 9, 2008, President Bush signed into law H.R. 1593, the “Second Chance Act of 2007” (P.L. 110-199). The House passed the bill on November 13, 2007, by a vote of 347 to 62. The Senate passed the bill without amendment by unanimous consent on March 11, 2008.

In general, the law reauthorizes the grant program in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 for reentry of adult and juvenile ex-offenders into the community; improves reentry planning and implementation; and authorizes the Attorney General to provide for the establishment of a National Adult and Juvenile Offender Reentry Resource Center to collect data and assist grantees in carrying out offender reentry programs.

Following are provisions of interest to SSA:

Federal Prisoner Reentry Initiatives

•  Requires the Director of the Bureau of Federal Prisons to assist Federal prisoners in obtaining identification (including a Social Security card, driver ' s license or other official photo identification, or birth certificate) prior to release.

•  Expands the duties of the Federal Bureau of Prisons under section 4042(a) of Title 18, United States Code, to include the establishment of pre-release planning procedures to help federal prisoners—

•  apply for Federal and State benefits upon release (including Social Security cards, Social Security benefits, and veterans' benefits); and

•  secure such identification and benefits prior to release, subject to any limitations in law.

These provisions are effective upon enactment; however, the Attorney General and Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons are authorized to implement these provisions under their discretion.