December 01, 2022

House Passes Multiple Reschenthaler, Bass Criminal Justice Reform Bills

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives passed two pieces of bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) and Karen Bass (D-CA) to improve prenatal and post-delivery care for incarcerated pregnant women and their unborn babies and better reintegrate previously incarcerated individuals reentering their communities. 

H.R. 6878, the Pregnant Women in Custody Act, is legislation to establish a national standard of prenatal and post-delivery care for incarcerated pregnant women and their unborn babies. 

H.R. 3372, the One Stop Shop Community Reentry Program Act, is legislation to support community-based reentry resources for previously incarcerated individuals who return to their communities. 

“Over 50 percent of prisoners become incarcerated again within three years of being released – a horrific trend in America that must end in order to reduce our soaring crime rates,” Reschenthaler said. “It is also critical to ensure pregnant female prisoners and their unborn babies have access to quality prenatal and post-delivery care, as well as supporting a smooth transition to everyday life once released. I am proud to see the House pass these pieces of legislation and urge the Senate to act swiftly to do the same.” 

The Pregnant Women in Custody Act  would: 

  • Provide incarcerated pregnant women access to prenatal and post-delivery care and support. 

  • Ensure the Federal Bureau of Prisons captures accurate data on pregnant prisoners’ physical and mental health care needs. 

  • Incentivize states to enact and enforce similar laws and policies. 

  • Require the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study on current practices for pregnant prisoners in state and local jails and prisons. 

The One Stop Shop Community Reentry Program Act would: 

  • Provide grants to community-based organizations for the creation of one-stop reentry centers, which would combine the provision of various reentry services in one location, thus making it easier for returning citizens to access them. 

  • Implement complete reentry services to address the critical elements of the reentry process that promote long-term reentry success. These services include housing, job training, and placement in mental health counseling. 

  • Increase support for recently released individuals by utilizing formerly incarcerated individuals as mentors and assistance personnel. 

  • Establishes a 24/7 reentry service assistance hotline to direct recently released individuals to appropriate reentry resources in their states and localities. This ensures individuals living in rural communities have access to the same resources. 

View the bill text for the Pregnant Women in Custody Act and One Stop Shop Community Reentry Program Act