For Third Consecutive Year, Presidential Proclamation Supports Second Chance Month®—Prison Fellowship's Effort to Unlock Better Futures for Formerly Incarcerated Men and Women
LANSDOWNE, VA—Prison Fellowship®, the nation's largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, released the following statement after President Donald J. Trump proclaimed April 2020 as Second Chance Month on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, for the third consecutive year:
"We applaud President Trump for, once again, recognizing our efforts in working to remove the unnecessary barriers that prevent those with a criminal record from becoming productive members of society," said James Ackerman, President and Chief Executive Officer for Prison Fellowship. "The President has taken another bold step in helping Prison Fellowship and more than 375 organizations fight for those who have paid their debt to society. We believe these 70 million Americans with criminal records—one in three adults—can rise from their mistakes, regain their dignity, and reach their God-given potential in life."
"The barriers placed on people—returning citizens—wastes human potential and adds to recidivism, ultimately jeopardizing public safety," added Ackerman. "This Presidential proclamation enables us to further educate Americans about these obstacles and work toward solutions that will unlock second chances and create more flourishing and productive communities."
By signing the historic FIRST STEP Act into law in December of 2018, President Trump and his administration demonstrated to the nation they would stand up for those returning citizens who continue to face tens of thousands of barriers to education, jobs, housing, and the things they need to lead a full and productive life.
Now, more than ever, it is crucial to raise awareness about the challenges men and women face upon reentry as they seek healthcare, housing, and employment. Many will be released during this challenging time and Prison Fellowship will continue to advocate for a more restorative criminal justice system for all, including fairer sentencing, more constructive correctional culture, and closure for those with a criminal record. Long after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, these reforms will make an important difference in the lives of those affected by crime and incarceration.
To view a copy of the 2020 Presidential Proclamation, click here.