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

2008 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

IN SUPPORT OF FULL FUNDING AND ‘BEST PRACTICE’ IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SECOND CHANCE ACT

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has long established policy on the reintegration of ex-offenders covering the last ten years; and

WHEREAS, in 1998, the USCM called upon the federal government to implement better funding methods through the States for addressing youth violence and juvenile justice issues; and

WHEREAS, in 2005, the USCM adopted policy supporting passage of the Second Chance Act as well as encouraging the efforts of faith-based and community initiatives to aid the reentry community; and

WHEREAS, in 2007, the USCM made its boldest statement to date on reentry concerns by outlining specific actions that should betaken by all levels of government to provide ex-offenders with greater opportunities to attain self-sufficiency; and

WHEREAS, in 2007, the USCM reiterated its call for better regulation of the sealing, expunging and releasing of juvenile records, particularly those associated with nonviolent crimes, so that young people affected have the maximum opportunity to become self-sufficient, successful adults; and

WHEREAS, these policies have taken on added significance thanks to the successful passage and signing into federal law of the“Second Chance Act of 2007.” Now, there exists federal authorization for ex-offender efforts that have been championed by mayors for years; and

WHEREAS, the Second Chance Act endorses a more comprehensive approach to addressing reentry, requiring collaboration amongst federal agencies such as DOJ, HHS, and DOL, as well as state/local government and private service providers; and

WHEREAS, the Second Chance Act also helps to bridge the nexus between work and reentry by collapsing barriers to institutional aid experienced by those attempting to reenter society, including, for example, bans of financial assistance for higher education, HUD’s ‘one-strike-and-you’re-out’ policy, and a lifetime ban on TANF and food stamp benefits for ex-offenders with certain convictions; and WHEREAS, the Second Chance Act contains several critical authorizations for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 such as $55 million for Adult and Juvenile Offender State/Local Reentry Demonstration Projects; $10 million for state/local family-based abuse treatment programs; $10 million for state/local evaluation efforts of educational methods at prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities; $15 million for state/local governments toward the Reentry Substance Abuse and Criminal Justice Collaboration Program; $10 million for state/local governments toward the Technology Careers Training Program; $15 million for nonprofit organizations toward Mentoring Programs; and

WHEREAS, Section 101 of the Second Chance Act requires that each local government applicant develop a comprehensive strategic reentry plan that contains annual and five-year performance outcomes,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the United States Conference of Mayors calls upon the U.S. Congress to fund the Second Chance Act for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 at the full authorized amount; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the USCM calls upon the U.S. Congress to begin discussions on a reauthorization of the Second Chance Act upon the convening of the 111th Congress for an additional period of more than a two years; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the USCM Ex-Offender Task Force work in close coordination with the Second Chance Act’s National Resource Center, assisting the Center in meeting its mandate of collecting data and information on best practices in reentry programming and partnering with the Center in disseminating‘best practice’ knowledge to state and local governments; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that mayors commit to assessing and reducing the barriers that exist in their own municipal regulations to hiring, promoting, and providing increased compensation opportunities for ex-offenders in city-paid positions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the USCM calls upon the U.S. Department of Labor to assess each state’s obstructions to employing ex-offenders and list those obstructions in a timely publication that can be used by state and local governments to reduce such impediments.