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Majority Whip Clyburn : Clyburn Floor Remarks on Second Chance Act, H.R. 1593 :








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Clyburn Floor Remarks on Second Chance Act, H.R. 1593

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

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Mister Speaker, I rise to voice my strong support for the Second Chance Act, and thank Congressman Danny Davis for not giving up on this legislation. 

Mister Speaker, if we are ever going to make progress in addressing the crime that is crippling our communities, we can not give up on any human being.  Because it is not enough to say that we are just going to lock up every offender and throw away the key.  Such narrow-mindedness does nothing to prevent our vulnerable youth from being indefinitely trapped in our nation’s corrections system.       

In order to stop crime Mister Speaker, we have to eliminate the criminal mindset.  And we help to defeat this mindset by offering offenders alternatives to their lives of crime.  We do this by enrolling them in programs that provide them with an education and help them find employment, and remind them of the consequences of anti-social behavior. 

I am happy to say that the Second Chance Act does all of this.  It reaches out to offenders by increasing their access to vocational education programs.  It also goes a long-way in helping many of our juvenile offenders understand the dangers associated with crime by providing them with counseling services.

Many of the individuals currently incarcerated in this country are young, non-violent, first-time offenders who made stupid mistakes.  These kids should not be denied the opportunity to re-position their paths in a more stable and law-abiding direction. 

This bill makes tremendous strides in protecting the public and rehabilitating offenders. 

I encourage my colleagues to vote yes on this bill and I yield back the balance of my time.