Building Second Chances through Reentry

Men holding hands in a support group

Every year in the United States, more than 400,000 people leave state and federal prison and return to their communities where they face significant barriers to reentry, like the inability to secure gainful employment or pursue education, housing insecurity, and the inability to access health and mental healthcare. Through the Second Chance Act (SCA) of 2007 and reauthorized under the 2018 First Step Act, organizations can support returning individuals and improve reentry outcomes in communities across the county.

The SCA helps local, state, and federal initiatives build upon important research and helps advance innovative policies and practices in reentry. Below are several ways AIR is supporting the field of reentry and ensuring that all individuals have an opportunity at a second chance.

Second Chance Month

Read our Q&A with Principal TA Consultant Caitlin Dawkins, who helped develop the concept of Second Chance Month with colleagues at Prison Fellowship.

Every April marks Second Chance Month, an opportunity to recognize the importance of second chances, why reentry is important for individuals and communities, and amplify what promising work is happening across the country to improve reentry outcomes.

Operated by AIR, the National Reentry Resource Center and the Corrections and Community Engagement Technical Assistance Center, both funded by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance, contribute to Second Chance Month through live learning events, videos, podcasts, and publications that promote strategies that strengthen the reentry field and enhance the work happening in corrections and communities.


National Reentry Resource Center

The National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) is the nation's primary source of information and guidance in reentry. The NRRC's primary responsibilities are advancing the knowledge base of the reentry field; facilitating reentry information exchange, including news, funding opportunities, and related events; promoting what works in reentry by hosting several clearinghouses (Clean Slate Clearinghouse, National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction, and the Public Safety Assessment Clearinghouse); providing information for people returning to communities and their families.

Corrections and Community Engagement Technical Assistance Center

The Corrections and Community Engagement Technical Assistance Center (CCETAC) focuses on reducing recidivism through evidence-based and capacity-building training and technical assistance (TTA). CCETAC’s core responsibilities to help achieve this goal are: (1) serving as the primary TTA provider for Category 1 Second Chance Act adult corrections, juvenile justice, pretrial, and community supervision grantees; (2) assisting grantees in refining their goals, defining activities and timelines to meet them, establishing and maintaining partnerships, setting performance measures, and carrying out evaluation activities; and (3) coordinating with SCA partners on TTA and special projects such as Second Chance Month activities.