Congress passed the Second Chance Act (SCA) of 2007 more than a decade ago. However, many people are still unsure of exactly what the act does or how it works. You can use this article to find out what the Second Chance Offender program is.
The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can help you focus on the applications of the Second Chance Offender Program in the state of California. Find out more about the SCA by calling us at (310) 896-2723 to speak to a legal professional.
Focus on the SCA in California
The SCA is wide-ranging legislation designed to lower recidivism rates. Recidivism refers to repeat convictions for criminal acts. The SCA works to reduce recidivism by providing federal grants to:
- State governments
- Local governments
- Tribal governments
- Nonprofit organizations
These grants are to be used by systems or programs to assist people with reentry into society from:
- State prisons
- Federal prisons
- Local jails
- Juvenile facilities
California has made tremendous usage of the grants offered through the SCA. There are 166 records of governmental and nonprofit organizations applying for and receiving SCA grants to assist members of the community as they move forward with their lives.
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Second Chance Reentry Programs in California
Reentry programs focus on helping individuals with the transition from incarceration back into their communities. Both nonprofit organizations and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation offer these programs. Individuals in need of aid may be offered reentry services such as:
- Vocational training and employment assistance
- Substance Use Disorder Treatment (SUDT)
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Education and life skills training
- Housing assistance or transitional housing
- Family reunification advice
Taking advantage of these services can help individuals who were convicted of a criminal act in California. SCA programs work with the goal of preventing subsequent convictions for additional crimes and helping individuals move forward with their lives.
Additional Programs Offered by the SCA
The SCA provides governmental and nonprofit organizations with funds to support a number of other projects. These organizations may choose to offer:
- Adult and juvenile mentoring
- Support for young parents
- Community supervision for juveniles
- Treatment for adult and juvenile co-occurring disorders
- Family-based substance abuse treatment
- Technology career training
Securing professional support from organizations backed by the SCA can help people reintegrate into society, putting their time behind bars in the past. Individuals can also get legal help in understanding their options to avoid subsequent convictions by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. Call (310) 896-2723 to get legal advice.
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Benefits of Reducing Recidivism in California
Preventing recidivism in California is very important for individuals charged with crimes. Many criminal acts are punished more harshly if an individual has previous convictions on their record. This is especially noticeable with charges for driving under the influence (DUI).
DUIs are directly priorable. Each time a driver is convicted of a DUI, the penalties they face increase. For example, a first-time DUI in California can result in:
- Fines of up to $2,000
- Jail time of up to six months
A second conviction can lead to:
- Fines of up to $2,500
- Jail time of up to one year
Taking advantage of SCA programs for alcohol-treatment can help drivers avoid subsequent DUI convictions and these increased penalties. Note that DUIs are not the only charge with penalties that increase in severity with repeat convictions. Some charges will even be prosecuted as felonies instead of misdemeanors, based solely on an individual’s past record.
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The SCA and California’s Fair Chance Act (FCA)
In addition to the services already discussed in this article, California passed the Fair Chance Act in 2018. This act is sometimes called the “Ban the Box” law. The FCA makes it illegal for employers to ask a potential employee about their criminal history until they have made a provisional job offer.
Once a conditional job offer is made, employers may ask about a potential employee’s criminal history. They must also perform an individualized assessment of the employee, instead of refusing employment right away. This act is designed to help people find work after a conviction in California.
Note that the FCA does not apply to all employers. A business must have at least five employees before they have to follow FAC regulations.
Speak to a Lawyer About Second Chance Offender Programs
It may be difficult to understand exactly how the SCA programs can help you, or even what the Second Chance Offender program is. If you are working with a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, they can provide you with guidance in this matter.
Find out more about your legal options following a first or subsequent criminal arrest in California by calling (310) 896-2723 or completing the Simmrin Law Group’s online contact form. Allow us to offer you a FREE initial case evaluation now.