76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008
Miami

2008 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

ENDING HOMELESSNESS OF EX-OFFENDERS THROUGH SECOND CHANCE ACT

WHEREAS, many ex-offenders are discharged out of the back doors of prisons and jails into the front doors of homeless programs without supports or services, increasing homelessness with few resources to respond; and

WHEREAS, the Prisoner Reentry Initiative (PRI) is yielding results for America's ex-offenders. In the first two years of the program, more than 12, 800 offenders have enrolled in the prisoner reentry program. More than 7, 900 offenders have been placed in jobs. Only 18 percent of those enrolled in the program have been arrested again within one year - less than half the estimated national average; and

WHEREAS, the Second Chance Act formally authorized key elements of the Prisoner Reentry Initiative (PRI) to help reduce recidivism in urban centers and other areas with the greatest need to help prisoners effectively reintegrate into the community; and

WHEREAS the Second Chance Act offers better connections to housing, employment, and treatment, all of which will reduce recidivism and prevent and end homelessness; and

WHEREAS, the Second Chance Act enhances drug treatment, mentoring, and stabilization services for ex-offenders through partnerships with local corrections agencies and faith-based and community organizations; and

WHEREAS, the Second Chance Act assists states and local government entities in partnership with nonprofit organizations to establish prisoner reentry demonstration projects that will aid in preventing recidivism and homelessness by providing:education, vocational training, and job placement services;coordinated supervision for offenders upon release, including housing that is permanent, affordable and linked to health, mental health, employment, and other support services that provides long-term, community-based housing options; and

WHEREAS, jurisdictionally led, community based 10 Year Plans to End Chronic Homelessness, encouraged by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, would be assisted in implementation by offering strategies and resources emphasizing the roles for every level of government and community stakeholders in developing Second Chance Act alternatives to expensive police/court interventions and prisoner release into homelessness; and

WHEREAS, such resources will re-moralize overburdened police, Judges, and jailers,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses the new Second Chance Act legislation that promotes the safe and successful reintegration into the community of individuals who have been incarcerated and supports programs geared toward the rapid re-housing of ex-offenders; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the President and Congress are commended for passage and signing into law of "The Second Chance Act” demonstrating that bipartisan approaches to social problems offer an avenue to remedy seemingly intractable obstacles and are encouraged to support the provision of budget resources to implement the Second Chance Act.