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Second Chance Churches: Giving People a Second Chance Because God Gave Us One

On December 21, 2018, the Second Chance Act of 2007 was reauthorized with the following goals:

  1. Second Chance Act reauthorization strengthens support for comprehensive reentry programming to address the myriad needs of people who have been in the criminal justice system.

  2. Second Chance Act reauthorization expands efforts to reduce substance addiction among people involved in the justice system.

  3. Second Chance Act reauthorization puts lessons learned about prison education into practice.

  4. Second Chance Act reauthorization expands eligibility for certain grant programs to provide critical reentry services.

  5. Second Chance Act reauthorization puts new accountability measures in place, making sure tax dollars are spent responsibly.


Our goal is to share this valuable resource with churches to help them become Second Chance Churches and network with other communities of faith in the Second Chance Church Network. Designed to prepare churches and communities to open doors of ministry and fellowship to the 550,000 community residents currently on probation and the more than 70,000 returning citizens and their families, this holistic tool is available to you at no cost.


This handbook is a work in progress. We encourage churches to use it to express their own faith and values and to add their own ideas and resources for your use. If you have suggestions for changes or edits, please share your ideas with Jim Young at