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Statement by the President Upon Signing Bills Providing Rehabilitative Techniques for Adult Offenders.

September 10, 1965

FOR the first time, the Attorney General of the United States has the authority to apply a full range of rehabilitative techniques to adult offenders. H.R. 6964, which I have today signed into law, allows him to (1) commit or transfer adult prisoners to residential community treatment centers (more popularly known as "halfway houses"), (2) grant prisoners leave for emergency purposes or to contact prospective employers, and (3) permit them to go into a neighboring community to work at paid employment or to obtain training.

One or more of these techniques have been used successfully by the Federal Bureau of Prisons in dealing with youthful offenders, by several States and European nations, and by the military services. We expect similar success with adult Federal prisoners.

This measure has been described as one of the most important pieces of legislation affecting the Federal prison system in the past 30 years. It is a beginning in the search for improving a correctional system that today sees one out of three parolees revert to crime.

I have also signed today H.R. 2263, the Correctional Rehabilitation Study Act of 1965. If we are to find new and better ways to help parolees return to society and to a good and useful life for themselves and their families, we must have highly trained specialists at our disposal. The studies to be financed under this bill will tell us the kind of specialists we need, the number we must have, and what training we must provide for them.

With these bills, with the Drug Abuse Act I have previously signed, and with the Law Enforcement Assistance Act just passed by the Congress, we take the first steps toward fulfilling our solemn pledge to the Nation not only to reduce crime but ultimately to drive it from our society.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 6964 is Public Law 89-176 (79 Stat. 674); H.R. 2263 is Public Law 89-178 (79 Stat. 676).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bills Providing Rehabilitative Techniques for Adult Offenders. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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