SECOND CHANCE MONTH, APRIL 2017!
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution declaring April 2017 “Second Chance Month.” Prison Fellowship worked alongside more than 65 other organizations to promote Second Chance Month in 2017, organizing awareness efforts including including a press event, policy briefings, Second Chances 5k events, “Second Chance Sunday” events held by churches, as well as coordinated petitions and social media campaigns.
Co-sponsored by Senators Rob Portman, R-OH., Amy Klobuchar, D-MN., James Lankford, R-OK., and Richard Durbin, D-IL., the 2017 resolution “calls on the people of the United States to observe Second Chance Month through actions and programs that promote awareness of collateral consequences; and provide closure for individuals who have paid their debts.”
“There is no such thing as a throwaway person, and by granting second chances to those who have earned them, we will be contributing to the restoration of families, communities and our nation,” said Craig DeRoche, senior vice president of Prison Fellowship. “We are honored that Senators Rob Portman and Amy Klobuchar introduced this bipartisan legislation designating April 2017 as Second Chance month. Together, we are working to remove unnecessary barriers that prevent those with a criminal record from becoming productive members of society. We believe people with a past can rise from their failure, repay their debts, and that healing is possible for our communities affected by crime.”
For far too many who have served time behind bars, release from incarceration brings a new kind of prison. Some 65 million Americans have a criminal record. This limits their access to jobs, education, housing and other things necessary for a full and productive life. Any hope and new identity found while incarcerated can be quickly lost upon release when faced with the “second prison”—the more than 48,000 documented social stigmas and legal restrictions that inhibit opportunities to rebuild someone’s life after paying a debt to society.
Every person has dignity and potential. But one in four American adults has a criminal record, which limits their access to education, jobs, housing, and other things they need to reach that potential. Join with Prison Fellowship in celebrating "Second Chance Month" in April! Together we can unlock brighter futures for 65 million Americans who have repaid their debt to society.