Prison Fellowship and More Than 700 Partners Recognize Second Chance Month 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, recognizes April as Second Chance Month for the sixth consecutive year. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. has also proclaimed April 2022 as Second Chance Month. This special month designation was created by Prison Fellowship in 2017 to serve as a time to raise awareness about the barriers that returning citizens face upon their release from prison.
In the United States, approximately one in three adults have a criminal record. Once they are released from prison, they face up to 44,000 documented social stigmas and legal restrictions that limit their access to education, jobs, housing, and other necessities to become self-sufficient. Prison Fellowship spearheads the nationwide effort to raise awareness about these hindrances and unlock brighter futures for people with a criminal record.
"We serve a God of second chances—and not just one, but unlimited second chances," said James Ackerman, President and CEO of Prison Fellowship. "For the sixth year, we are inviting individuals, families, churches, and organizations to join us in celebrating the achievements of restored citizens while we continue to advocate for more opportunities for those who have served their time."
"As Christians, we are called to visit those in prison. If our message to people behind bars is that all things are possible through Christ, we can't be complacent about the legal barriers that hold them back from their God-given potential upon release," said Heather Rice-Minus, Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Church Mobilization. "This April, Prison Fellowship is grateful to join with more than 700 partners to remove obstacles to education, housing, employment and other opportunities for people with a criminal background."
Prison Fellowship, along with sponsors The Just Trust and Justice Action Network, is raising awareness of the importance of second chances through targeted public awareness campaigns, policy briefings, and events across the country. Here are just a few of the events commemorating this special month:
SECOND CHANCE MONTH 2022 EVENTS
- A Second Chance Sunday Service will be hosted on Sunday, April 3 at 9:00am and 11:00am EDT at National Community Church featuring a special sermon by Pastor Mark Batterson on the importance of redemption and second chances.
- Road to Second Chances Prayer Walk will take place on Saturday, April 30 in Oklahoma City. Speakers from around the country will share personal stories of living out their second chance, and we will cover both Oklahoma and our nation with prayer.
- Faith and Law Friday Forum: "Advancing a Culture of Second Chances" is an event Prison Fellowship will be hosting on April 8 at 12pm EDT in partnership with Faith and Law for Congressional staffers to discuss second chance policies. Faith and Law is an organization that brings a wide variety of distinguished speakers before members of Congress and Hill staff to address contemporary political and cultural issues.
- Virtual Second Chance Month Gala will be taking place on Thursday, April 28 at 7pm EDT. Businesses, communities, churches, and families will gather to hear transformation stories and conversations highlighting the need for second chances.
- Second Chance Month Twitter storm all day on April 1 and Twitter chats on April 6, 13, 20, and 27 at 1pm EDT. Criminal justice experts will discuss second chance topics, as well as first-hand accounts of people living out their second chance. Follow @JusticeReform and search #SecondChanceMonth.