U.S. Senate Resolution Supports Breaking Down Unnecessary Barriers for People with Criminal Recorse
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Prison Fellowship®, the nation's largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, applauds the U.S. Senate for passing a resolution sponsored by Senators Rob Portman and Amy Klobuchar to designate April 2021 as Second Chance Month. This continues Prison Fellowship's national effort to raise awareness about obstacles faced by the one in three American adults with a criminal record, break down barriers, and create second-chance opportunities.
Earlier this month, President Joseph R. Biden proclaimed April national Second Chance Month, making it the fourth consecutive year the White House has made this declaration.
"We thank the members of the U.S. Senate in helping Prison Fellowship to continue the fight for those who have paid their debt to society—only to face a barrage of unnecessary obstacles in trying to become productive members of society," said James Ackerman, President and CEO of Prison Fellowship. "We need to combat the tens of thousands of barriers to education, jobs, and housing, that prevent returning citizens from pursuing a full and productive life."
"We believe it's possible for people to rise from their worst choices, make amends, and help restore communities they once harmed," said Heather Rice-Minus, Senior VP of Advocacy and Church Mobilization at Prison Fellowship. "We are honored that Senators Rob Portman and Amy Klobuchar continue to lead in designating April as Second Chance Month. We hope that this growing cultural movement in honor of second chances gives courage to lawmakers to repeal unfair and unnecessary barriers that prevent Americans who have paid their debt from reaching their full God-given potential."
Prison Fellowship, alongside a diverse coalition of nearly 600 Second Chance Month partners, seeks to raise awareness about the social stigma and legal barriers faced by the 70 million Americans with a criminal record. As returning citizens navigate reentry and work to become contributing members of their communities, Second Chance Month aims to unlock brighter futures for these men and women who have paid their debt. Prison Fellowship continues to provide opportunities for people with a criminal record to challenge negative stereotypes with real-life stories of hope and transformation shared through awareness-building virtual events, social media, and other resources.