If you are a Washington resident recently released from jail or prison, you know that life can be hard for a convicted criminal. The Second Chance Act may give you the boost you need to get your life back in order as you reenter society.

The National Association of Counties reports that the Second Chance Act, scheduled to expire at the end of 2018, was instead reauthorized by President Trump through 2023. The purpose of this Act is to provide county governments and other agencies the funds they need to help you in the following six reentry areas:

  1. Employment training
  2. Housing
  3. Substance abuse
  4. Mental health treatment
  5. Mentoring
  6. Family assistance

Reentry and recidivism statistics

Each year, nearly 650,000 people get released from state and federal prisons while upward of 12 million get released from local jails. Unfortunately, however, 67% of them get rearrested for an alleged felony or serious misdemeanor within three years of release, and many of them wind up back in jail or prison.

Naturally, you do not want to become one of these statistics. But you know how hard it is to survive if you have limited job skills and cannot find either a home or a job. These problems are exactly what the Second Chance Act seeks to help you with. Your county or a variety of social service, job training, housing and other agencies within it has the funding to help you find a home, get you the job training you need and then find you an appropriate job.

Your best course of action likely will be to contact an attorney who can advise you of what help is out there and how you can apply for it. (S)he may also be able to help you get your conviction expunged from your record.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.