COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Portman for Senate campaign today released its latest TV ad, "Second Chance." The ad highlights Rob's work to reduce recidivism through his legislation co-authored with the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), the Second Chance Act. The ad features a testimonial from the Reverend Henry Curtis of Cleveland and begins running statewide immediately. You may click HERE or below to watch "Second Chance."
The Rev. Curtis: The congregation I serve works with many ex-offenders and many of these individuals, if given the opportunity, could become productive members and contributors to society. The Second Chance Act breaks the cycle.
Rob Portman: I'm the author of what's called The Second Chance Act which helps people have that second chance to get back on their feet. It also provides drug treatment programs and job skills. This is about helping people.
The Rev. Curtis: Rob Portman cares about people, he's making a difference.
Rob Portman: I'm Rob Portman and I approve this message.
Rob is the original author of the Second Chance Act that helps reduce recidivism by giving ex-offenders an opportunity to turn their lives around through successful drug recovery programs, job training, and mental health treatment. During his time in the House of Representatives, Rob worked with the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) to author the law. It has now supported hundreds of local and state agencies, nonprofits, and community- and faith-based organizations that are working to help transition inmates back into their communities with the support they need to break the grip of addiction, to get important skills to get back to work, and to stay out of prison. According to the Department of Justice, Rob’s law has provided over $475 million in grants since it was signed into law.
Ninety-five percent of people who are in jail or prison will one day be released, but two-thirds of inmates who are released will end up back in jail within three years. But, Rob’s law has worked across the country. In the past ten years the recidivism rate in Ohio has dropped by 11 percent, and Rob has been leading the effort in the Senate to update and improve the law. He has worked with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to introduce the Second Chance Reauthorization Act that will continue upon the success of the law and make families and communities stronger, save taxpayer dollars, and improve the criminal justice system.
Specifically, the Second Chance Reauthorization Act will take the data from the original law and redouble funding to programs that have proven to be successful. The new bill will also allow a wider range of non-profits that focus on substance abuse treatment and career training to be eligible for funding. Finally, the new bill will continue to save taxpayer money by reducing recidivism and the number of Americans in prison.
Rob is also an independent voice in the Senate who has gotten results for Ohioans to address the heroin epidemic that has led to a spike in drug arrests, crimes, and imprisonment. More than 20 years ago, Rob founded the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati. He chaired the coalition for nine years, served on the board, and was even a member of the board when he was elected to the US Senate. Rob is a leader in the Senate on addressing prescription drug abuse, stopping synthetic drugs, and improving the ability to track prescription drug sales across state lines. Rob co-authored the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which tackles the prescription drug and heroin epidemic head on by expanding education and prevention efforts, helping law enforcement reverse overdoses to save lives, and expanding treatment and recovery programs. Rob began this legislative effort in 2014 and his CARA was recently signed into law by President Obama.
Rob has also been a leader on career training skills while serving in the Senate. He has introduced the Career Act with Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) that makes federal job training programs more responsive to the needs of the 21st-century job market. The CAREER Act would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of federal job training, without decreasing services or accessibility to services, including for the workers who need these programs the most. Additionally, Rob co-founded the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus with Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). The bipartisan Caucus focuses on improving and strengthening access to career and technical education to ensure that students of all ages are prepared with the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century.