Congressman Troy E. Nehls Announces Introduction of SCORE Act

On wednesday, Congresswoman Val Demings (FL-10) and I introduced the Second Chance Opportunity for Re-Entry Education (SCORE) Act of 2021. This meaningful criminal justice reform legislation will establish a new grant program to promote re-entry training and reduce recidivism among non-violent inmates. I, a Republican, and Rep. Demings, a Democrat, drew on our combined 57-plus years of law enforcement experience, including my two terms as Fort Bend County Sheriff and Rep. Demings’ term as Orlando, Florida Chief of Police.

Joining Rep. Demings and me on the legislation are cosponsors Reps. Randy Weber, Brian Babin, John Carter, and Pete Sessions of Texas. The SCORE Act is also endorsed by the Major County Sheriffs of America. 

I was proud to introduce a bipartisan, common-sense criminal justice reform bill that aims to promote career training and reduce recidivism among non-violent inmates. The SCORE Act will establish a new grant program for inmate holding facilities across the country to apply and gain access to federal funding to help them establish re-entry classes. During my tenure as Sheriff of Fort Bend County, I instituted HVAC and welding training courses for non-violent inmates at the county jail. Non-violent inmates who took these classes re-entered society with job ready skills that not only helped them find work but also helped minimize their chances of reoffending. Those successes were the roadmap for this bipartisan criminal justice reform.

Said Rep. Demings, “As a Chief of Police, I saw too often the ‘revolving door’ of the justice system, where a minor offense could break down a person’s life. America must provide an alternate path. As we work to build a safer, more prosperous nation for all, it is vital that we give prisoners who have served their time a second chance to rejoin society and be good citizens and good neighbors. I am glad to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation to give nonviolent prisoners a chance to learn a trade skill and help them rejoin society. By breaking the cycle of recidivism and preventing individuals from reoffending, we keep everyone safe. It’s the right thing to do, and the smart thing too.”

The Second Chance Opportunity for Re-Entry, or SCORE, Act, authorizes the DOJ to create a new grant program for eligible county jails to establish career and technical training programs, focused on technical trades, such as welding, HVAC, plumbing, and other career training, to assist individuals with re-entry. The programs are available to non-violent offenders and are to be developed in coordination with technical and vocational institutions, community colleges, non-profit organizations and unions.


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