Second Chance Month

One in three American adults has a criminal record which limits their access to basic necessities such as housing, employment, and education due to legal restrictions and a harsh social stigma. This means that thousands of people reenter society every year but have to work twice as hard to overcome barriers. Around 60 percent of those previously incarcerated are homeless because they are unable to obtain housing, and many re-offend because they see it as their only viable option as they are unable to find employment. These challenges can negatively impact their reentry process, which may lead to a cycle of reincarceration as it is estimated that 68 percent of released prisoners will be re-arrested within three years of their release date. Our current system creates a lack of opportunity for former offenders, which leads to a cycle of crime, this is why it is vital that we raise awareness about the challenges they face in hopes to create a more welcoming environment that allows people to better themselves and thrive just like anybody else.
 
April is known as Second Chance Month, and it was created as a nationwide effort to raise awareness of these barriers and create opportunities for people who have completed their sentences and wish to rejoin society. The Prison Fellowship believes that everyone, regardless of their background, deserves to reach their full potential, which is why they created Second Chance Month in order to raise awareness and provide resources and mentorship to prisoners ready to return to society.
 
As Second Chance Month begins, consider how you view those who have a criminal record and how you could alter that viewpoint. Consider how you could do your part to open doors to housing, education, and employment so we can begin to help people rebuild their lives as quickly and easily as possible. The fact remains that every person can make a valuable contribution, no matter how small. Volunteering, fundraising, or simply posting on social media to bolster awareness can all help to create a more inclusive world for everyone. And as Second Chance Month comes to a close, Reentry Week will be starting. Check out the NRRC website for virtual events and resources focused on reentry topics including, employment, education, behavioral health, housing, youth and families, making reentry work, and the importance of evaluation. 
 
Change is not only possible, but we have demonstrated it here at Alvis with our own highly effective reentry programs where we provide guidance along with safe and comfortable environments for people to begin their journey to reentry. It is our belief that a person’s potential is more than their past. For more information on how Alvis can help you or to learn more about how you can get involved, contact us here: Alvis@alvis180.org

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