White House Proclamation Recognizes Second Chance Month—An Effort by Prison Fellowship to Unlock Better Futures for Formerly Incarcerated People
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Prison Fellowship®, the nation's largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, released the following statement after President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. proclaimed April 2021 as Second Chance™ Month:
“We are thrilled that the Biden Administration acknowledges the importance of Second Chance Month, a movement Prison Fellowship has led since 2017 to raise awareness about the more than 44,000 legal barriers men and women with a criminal record face,” said James Ackerman, President and CEO of Prison Fellowship. “By issuing this proclamation, this Administration is affirming their support for removing the unnecessary barriers that prevent those with a criminal record from becoming productive members of society. Prison Fellowship and more than 550 organizations advocate for those who have paid their debt to society. We believe the approximately 70 million Americans with criminal records—that’s one in three people—are more than their worst choices and affirm their God-given dignity and potential in life.”
“Any hope and new identity found while behind bars can be quickly lost upon release when faced with the ‘second prison’—the social stigma and legal restrictions that keep people from establishing full, productive lives after they have paid their debt to society,” said Heather Rice-Minus, Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Church Mobilization. “The barriers placed on returning citizens wastes human potential and adds to recidivism, which ultimately jeopardizes public safety. This Presidential proclamation supports our coalition’s collective work toward solutions that will unlock second chances and create flourishing and productive communities.”
To View the 2021 Presidential Proclamation, click here.