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Old 12-27-2002, 07:32 PM
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Default Public Safety Ex-Offender Self Sufficiency Act

Congressman Danny K. Davis, 7th District of Illinois, introduced new legislation entitled "Public Safety Ex-offender Self Sufficiency Act of 2002" (H.R. 3701) into the House of Representatives on February 7, 2002. It provides for transitional housing for ex-offenders, with on-site delivery of employment placement and supportive services to facilitate successful ex-offender re-entry and promote public safety.

H.R. 3701 amends the IRS code of 1986 to reflect an ex-offender low-income housing credit to encourage the provision of housing, job readiness training, and other essential services delivered in structured living environments designed to assist ex-offenders in becoming self-sufficient.

This comprehensive legislative initiative addresses the United
State's lack of a systematic, comprehensive approach to re-
integrating the increasing number of returning ex-offenders. It seeks to decrease recidivism rates and the cost of crime
to victims, and increase public safety.

Absent this assistance, 62% of those released from state prisons will be rearrested within three years and 40% will be
re-incarcerated, including many for technical violations of parole.Yet ex-offenders are frequently refused employment and TANF benefits and cannot receive subsidized housing, education or medical assistance. Few choices remain for them and so many violate parole or commit another crime that returns them to prison.

This legislation addresses needs and solutions identified by the 7th District of Illinois Ex-Offenders Task Force, a broad group of representatives from national and local civil rights
organizations, community-based organizations, ex-offenders,
academicians, law-enforcement officials, elected officials, community activists, faith-based organizations, block club residents, businesses and community residents who collaborated with the ex-offender population to find solutions.

The Safer Foundation is an active participant of this group.
The Task Force identified safe and affordable housing for ex-
offenders as a key barrier and critical as a stabilizing force. But since the issues are far broader than housing alone,
this legislative initiative addresses the re-integration of
ex-offenders from a more holistic perspective.

Among the support services identified in the legislation are: job readiness training, employment counseling and placement, entrepreneurial training, financial management,
substance abuse counseling, anger management, healthcare services, educational assistance and family and crisis management. The ex-offender resident must enter a written agreement to attend and participate in the supportive services program and may not default on this agreement.

For a copy of the bill and its status, go to Thomas: Legislative Information on the Internet at http://thomas.loc.gov and type in H.R. 3701 or contact Congressman Davis' office at 773/533-7520.
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