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A Second Chance: Charting a New Course for Re-Entry and Criminal Justice Reform

“The ill-conceived War on Drugs and the overly harsh sentences imposed for low-level offenses have affected almost every area of our criminal justice system, from over policing to sentencing and re-entry. As a result, the disproportionate number of minorities and low-income individuals that encounter our criminal justice system face numerous barriers to successful re-entry when attempting to reintegrate into society. This report examines the consequences of these practices and makes a series of policy recommendations regarding their reform. While it is beyond the scope of the report to examine policy solutions to address racial disparities and the disparate impact on low-income individuals entering the criminal justice system, it examines some of the many challenges faced by individuals reintegrating into society and offers policy suggestions” (p. 5). Seven chapters comprise this report: introduction to the problem of mass incarceration; navigating life after re-entry; the dirty little secret of exorbitant prison phone rates; education works, there needs to be more of it; out of prison, out of work; and when millions of Americans aren’t allowed to vote, it’s bad for the citizen and bad for the community. A conclusion and recommendations finish off this report.