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Second Chance Act Spotlight: Britney Stembridge

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Britney Stembridge

“The connections through Pathfinders [are] really what made the difference for me,” Steimbridge said. On top of the short-term housing assistance she received, she also credits Pathfinders’ individualized mentoring support with helping her stay on track in recovery.

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Ronald Forbes

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Ronald Forbes

A 55-year-old U.S. Army veteran, Ronald Forbes is on the brink of expanding his Oakland, California-based catering company in partnership with his sister, Catherine. Soon, he’ll move the business to a commercial space, but for now he’s practicing his recipes for barbecue chicken, ribs, and his mom’s potato salad at home.

Second Chance Act-Funded Middle Tennessee Rural Reentry Program Highlighted in Grantee Training and Media Coverage

Second Chance Act-Funded Middle Tennessee Rural Reentry Program Highlighted in Grantee Training and Media Coverage

Staff and a program participant of the Middle Tennessee Rural Reentry (MTRR) Program in Franklin County, TN, a 2015 Second Chance Act Technology-Based Career Training grantee, recently offered insights to fellow grantees as part of the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) training event Engaging Local Employers in Promising Practices for Hiring People Who Have Criminal Records.

Watch: Gov. Reynolds of Iowa Meets Face to Face with People Incarcerated at a Maximum Security Facility

Watch: Gov. Reynolds of Iowa Meets Face to Face with People Incarcerated at a Maximum Security Facility

During their visit, Gov. Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg met with inmates participating in Iowa’s largest apprenticeship program, in addition to leading a roundtable discussion with many of the program’s stakeholders and local business leaders where they discussed the importance of providing reentry services and employment opportunities for those being released from prisons and jails.

CSG Justice Center Launches Clean Slate Clearinghouse

CSG Justice Center Launches Clean Slate Clearinghouse

Recently, the CSG Justice Center, with funding support from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, launched the Clean Slate Clearinghouse, which helps support juvenile and adult criminal record clearance.

Second Chance Act Participant Spotlight: Sharon Hadley, Harris County, Texas

Second Chance Act Participant Spotlight: Sharon Hadley, Harris County, Texas

When Sharon Hadley arrived at Santa Maria Hostel in July 2012, she had just completed the latest in her decade-long string of sentences for drug-related offenses. “Now that I look back over my life, I can see how the wheels started coming off even before I really knew it,” Hadley said. “I recidivated 13 times. Each incarceration was longer and longer, and I was more and more hopeless.”

WATCH: Gov. Hickenlooper Speaks with Corrections Officers, Incarcerated Women During Face to Face Visit

WATCH: Gov. Hickenlooper Speaks with Corrections Officers, Incarcerated Women During Face to Face Visit

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, on Aug. 16, discussed mental health treatment and “second chances” during a tour of a women’s correctional facility in Denver, where he had the opportunity to #MeetFacetoFace with corrections officers and the people incarcerated there. “Prisoners are often forgotten … out of sight out of mind,” Gov. Hickenlooper said. “I think there are better ways of dealing with their lives than just locking them up in a box.”

WATCH: Gov. Greitens Meets Face to Face with Corrections Officers at Missouri Facility

WATCH: Gov. Greitens Meets Face to Face with Corrections Officers at Missouri Facility

Taking up the charge of a new national initiative, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens visited the Jefferson City Correctional Center on Monday, Aug. 14, to #MeetFacetoFace with corrections officers. “I wish every Missourian could see what our corrections officers do every day,” Gov. Greitens wrote on his Facebook page. “They have important, difficult jobs that help to keep Missourians safe.”

Governor Sandoval Proclaims ‘Face to Face Week’ in Nevada

Governor Sandoval Proclaims ‘Face to Face Week’ in Nevada

Launched on Monday, Aug. 14, Face to Face—an initiative sponsored by the National Reentry Resource Center and The Council of State Governments Justice Center in partnership with the Association of State Correctional Administrators, JustLeadershipUSA, and the National Center for Victims of Crime—challenges all elected officials to participate in a series of public activities through which they can interact with people who are in prison or jail, corrections officers, victims of crime, and others who have firsthand experience with the correctional system.

Governors Take Action to Launch National Initiative Promoting Connections with People Closest to Correctional System

Governors Take Action to Launch National Initiative Promoting Connections with People Closest to Correctional System

The initiative—sponsored by the National Reentry Resource Center and The CSG Justice Center in partnership with the Association of State Correctional Administrators, JustLeadershipUSA, and the National Center for Victims of Crime—will launch with a wave of public activities featuring both Republican and Democratic governors and other elected officials meeting with people impacted by the correctional system in their respective states.

A Message from the Chair and Vice Chair of the CSG Justice Center

A Message from the Chair and Vice Chair of the CSG Justice Center

As you may know, Michael D. Thompson, the director of The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, informed the leadership of the CSG Justice Center’s board and David Adkins, CEO of the Council of State Governments, that he would be leaving the organization at the end of June to join The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Nevada Passes Juvenile Justice System Reform Act

Nevada Passes Juvenile Justice System Reform Act

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed legislation on June 16 in Carson City that seeks to strengthen public safety and improve outcomes for youth in that state’s justice system.

Tucson Community Nonprofit Grows with a Change in Housing Programming

Tucson Community Nonprofit Grows with a Change in Housing Programming

As the leaders of Old Pueblo Community Services (OPCS) can attest, the landscape of housing and reentry services is never static. For this nonprofit organization that serves people at risk of homelessness in Pima County, Arizona, the communities they work in, their clients, funding streams, and research into best practices all evolve over time—and OPCS’ leaders recognize the importance of evolving along with that landscape.

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives to Help Chambers Implement Fair Hiring Practices in their Communities

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives to Help Chambers Implement Fair Hiring Practices in their Communities

The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, in partnership with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, has been awarded a $500,000 contract to help support businesses in hiring people with criminal records. The proposal was selected by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Reentry Resource Center in a competitive process from a pool of more than 60 applicants.

Planning and Implementation Guide for SCA Smart Reentry Grantees

This guide prepared by the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) is intended to support recipients of Second Chance Act (SCA) Smart Reentry: Focus on Evidence-Based Strategies for Successful Reentry from Incarceration to Community grants funded by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). It is not intended to serve as a step-by-step blueprint for developing a reentry program, but rather to foster discussion on best practices, identify considerations for collaborative efforts, and help programs work through key decisions and implementation challenges. Although the guide was developed as a tool for SCA grantees, its exercises and supporting resources may be helpful for other reentry programs.

New England Conference Highlights Regional Approach to Reentry

New England Conference Highlights Regional Approach to Reentry

The conference, which was hosted by United States attorneys of the six New England Districts—Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine—uplifted the region’s approach to reentry efforts. Rather than focusing on individual locales, service providers, policymakers, and correctional agencies throughout New England collaborate to ensure a unified approach.

Technology Bridges Distances for a Reentry Program in Western Wisconsin

Technology Bridges Distances for a Reentry Program in Western Wisconsin

Low recruitment numbers. Poor attendance. Lackluster quarterly reports. These are concerns that burden many nonprofit, community-based outreach programs around the country. For Workforce Connections Inc., an organization that serves people returning to their communities from incarceration in western Wisconsin, these problems were heightened by the rural and semi-rural environments from which the organization draws both participants and volunteers.

Hamilton Project Panel Stresses Importance of Reentry Programs

Hamilton Project Panel Stresses Importance of Reentry Programs

Individual panelists offered differing perspectives on what work needs to be done to reduce recidivism, but the group agreed that there are a number of straightforward, nonpartisan measures that state and local governments can adopt in order to reduce recidivism and increase public safety.

Clearing a Path, from Conviction to Employment

Clearing a Path, from Conviction to Employment

After a conviction, people often face severe, unanticipated penalties beyond the court’s sentence, commonly known as collateral consequences. More than half of all collateral consequences are employment related, according to the National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction. For example, in an effort to advance public safety and ensure high-quality services, states require licenses for particular businesses or occupations, such as health care professionals, transportation specialists and cosmetologists.

‘Washington Post’ Criminal Justice Summit Considers Opportunities for Reform

‘Washington Post’ Criminal Justice Summit Considers Opportunities for Reform

As someone who was once incarcerated, Khalil Cumberbatch knows that the things many people miss while behind bars may not be what one might expect. “Many people that I’ve met in maximum security prisons want to … be involved with their community; they want to be taxpayers; they want to be able to drop their kids off and pick them up from school,” he said at the Washington Post’s Criminal Justice Summit in Washington, DC, this month.

HUD Publication Outlines Promising Reentry Housing Models

HUD Publication Outlines Promising Reentry Housing Models

It Starts With Housing is a new publication from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that encourages public housing authorities to collaborate with partners to “make second chances real for the men and women returning” from jail and prison.

RNR Simulation Tool Gives Probation, Parole Officers a Clinical Take on Reentry in Louisiana

RNR Simulation Tool Gives Probation, Parole Officers a Clinical Take on Reentry in Louisiana

People who are returning to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, from two correctional facilities in the state are receiving individualized roadmaps to successful reentry from an unexpected place: the RNR Simulation Tool—a web-based, decision-support system designed in part to assist agencies in determining what types of programming will be most effective in reducing a person’s likelihood of committing another crime.

Risk and Needs Assessment and Race in the Criminal Justice System

Risk and Needs Assessment and Race in the Criminal Justice System

A recent ProPublica story on risk and needs assessment asked some important questions about a particular risk and needs assessment tool and the broader implications of its use. As the national discussion continues about the use and value of risk and needs assessment, the CSG Justice Center offers comments on risk and needs assessment as it relates to racial disparity and bias in the criminal justice system.

Allegheny County Officials, Employers Join Push to Eliminate Labels for People with Criminal Records

Allegheny County Officials, Employers Join Push to Eliminate Labels for People with Criminal Records

Often times, one word stands in the way of connecting people who need jobs with the jobs that need to be filled, according to Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary and member of The Council of State Governments Justice Center Board John Wetzel. “Think of the term ‘offender,’” said Wetzel. “We tell someone coming out of the back end of our system, ‘We want you to do well. We want you to work,’ but then we put a nametag on their chest that says ‘offender.’ That’s not setting folks up for success.”

Vermont DOC Builds Commitment to Restorative Justice

Vermont DOC Builds Commitment to Restorative Justice

The Vermont DOC organized volunteers from local communities into citizen-based boards, which led, in 1998, to the creation of what are now known across the state as Community Justice Centers (CJCs). Today, there are 20 CJCs in Vermont—one in every county—managed centrally by the Vermont DOC. CJCs provide intensive support services in employment, housing, mentoring, and restitution management for people returning to their communities from incarceration. They rely primarily on volunteers to deliver these services.

HUD Says Denying Rentals to People with Criminal Records May Violate Fair Housing Act

HUD Says Denying Rentals to People with Criminal Records May Violate Fair Housing Act

On April 4, the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued “Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records,” which states that the broad exclusion of people with criminal records in the sale or rental of housing or other real estate transactions may be in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Wichita-Area Businesses Hear from Local, State Voices on Hiring People with Records

Wichita-Area Businesses Hear from Local, State Voices on Hiring People with Records

In Kansas, four out of nine people possess a criminal record. Although the Wichita City Council voted in July 2015 to “ban the box” that asks whether applicants have a criminal record on its job applications—following the lead of dozens of other states and hundreds of cities and counties —there’s still more to be done, said Wichita City Council member LaVonta Williams.

Second Chance Act Grantee Achieves Dramatic Results for High-Risk Women

Second Chance Act Grantee Achieves Dramatic Results for High-Risk Women

When Toby Jones first meets her clients, she finds that many of them are shocked that someone wants to help them. Jones is the mentoring program director for Family Pathfinders of Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas, where she serves women in Tarrant County Jail’s Intensive Day Treatment program for substance use.

A Second Chance at Recovery for Women in Wilmington, North Carolina

RESET, which is funded by a 2014 Second Chance Act grant, is a six-month program designed specifically for women and implemented through a partnership between a residential reentry center and a nonprofit behavioral health agency. A typical participant in RESET has a co-occurring substance use and mental disorder and a moderate- to high-risk of committing another crime.

With Help from Partners, Iowa Department of Corrections Tackles Statewide Recidivism

With Help from Partners, Iowa Department of Corrections Tackles Statewide Recidivism

Twenty-eight percent of the people released from prison in the State of Iowa in 2010 were back behind bars by 2013, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections’ (IDOC) Iowa Recidivism Report. But, with a grant awarded from the U.S. Department of Justice, the IDOC is leading efforts to drop the state’s recidivism rate by eight percentage points in five years.

Second Chance Act Grantee Work Reflects Pope’s Belief in Rehabilitation

Second Chance Act Grantee Work Reflects Pope’s Belief in Rehabilitation

“The timing of the pope’s visit puts the spotlight on the crucial area of reentry as a way of conveying that these people are down, they’re looking for a second chance at life, and we have an opportunity to help them make the most of it, and make our communities safer as a result,” Arn Quakkelaar, executive director of Milwaukee-based nonprofit Brothers and Sisters in Christ Serving.

RIDGE Project Among Grantees at NRRC Intensive Training Summit

RIDGE Project Among Grantees at NRRC Intensive Training Summit

The RIDGE Project is today divided into an adult division, a workforce development division, and a youth division. The adult programming begins inside the prison; fathers whose children are younger than 22 and who are within six months from release are eligible.

Southern States Discuss Challenges and Opportunities Related to Hiring Adults with Criminal Records

Southern States Discuss Challenges and Opportunities Related to Hiring Adults with Criminal Records

An estimated 70 million people in the U.S. have a criminal record, and the South is the region with the highest incarceration rates per capita. Research shows that having a steady job can significantly increase the likelihood of success for someone returning home from prison, but oftentimes such individuals can’t get jobs, not necessarily because they’re underqualified, but because employers are wary of hiring people who have criminal histories.

South Carolina Business, Community, and Corrections Leaders Gather in Greenville to Discuss Employing People with Criminal Records

South Carolina Business, Community, and Corrections Leaders Gather in Greenville to Discuss Employing People with Criminal Records

Understanding the importance of employment in reentry success, the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and the Greenville Reentry Task Force recently invited more than 30 employers, as well as a number of community leaders, policymakers, and corrections officials, to breakfast at The Commerce Club, where they talked about the obstacles to hiring people with criminal records and also the best ways to overcome those barriers.

Brownies and Jobs: Greyston Bakery Employees Get a Second Chance

Brownies and Jobs: Greyston Bakery Employees Get a Second Chance

In its hiring process, Greyston doesn’t ask applicants background questions, including questions about criminal records. People interested in working at the bakery fill out an application, and are placed on a wait list until entry-level positions become available.

Research, Community Supervision Agency Partnership Is Central to Grant Program

Research, Community Supervision Agency Partnership Is Central to Grant Program

Grantees in the Second Chance Act-funded program work “hand-in-hand with research partners to advance the field through the development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative and evidence-based initiatives,” said Juliene James, senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, which administers the program.

Evaluating the Impact of Adult Correctional Education

Evaluating the Impact of Adult Correctional Education

According to a 2014 meta-analysis by the RAND Corporation, adults who participated in correctional education programs were shown to have, on average, a 43 percent less likelihood of recidivating and were 13 percent more likely to obtain employment upon their release from incarceration.

Connecticut Launches Prison-Based Reentry Center as Part of Statewide Initiative

Connecticut Launches Prison-Based Reentry Center as Part of Statewide Initiative

As part of Governor Dannel Malloy’s Second Chance Society reentry initiative, Connecticut has opened a new reentry center at one of its prisons to help people prepare for their return to the community. At the Cybulski Community Reintegration Center, men who are within 6 to 18 months of their release receive services to address a variety of issues, including employment, housing, parenting, and substance use.

Rikers Program Provides “Green Technology” Job Training, Placements

Rikers Program Provides “Green Technology” Job Training, Placements

Working I.T. Out’s job readiness training, which focuses in part on hard skills directly related to job operations and functions, is delivered in partnership with Hostos Community College in the Bronx, while the New York City Department of Education teaches participants essential computer literacy skills. Soft skills training, such as how to talk appropriately with customers and be a team player in the workplace, is provided by STRIVE International.

After Prison, a Fresh Start Through PACE

After Prison, a Fresh Start Through PACE

“It’s so easy to get in trouble,” Spruill said, “but it can take a lifetime to get out of it. That’s why you need that support, to help you remember to stay on track, stay patient.”

Criminal Justice Experts Join CSG Justice Center

Criminal Justice Experts Join CSG Justice Center

“We are very excited to bring aboard this extraordinary collection of talented people, who have served state and local governments across the U.S.,” said Mike Lawlor, chair of the CSG Justice Center’s Executive Committee. Among the seven new experts joining the organization are former heads of state and local agencies and associations and also directors of organizations that conduct research in the criminal justice field, each of whom brings new skills and knowledge to the CSG Justice Center.

Risk Assessment: What You Need to Know

Risk Assessment: What You Need to Know

A recent Associated Press story on risk assessments, performed to determine the likelihood that someone involved in the criminal justice system will reoffend, contains several common misunderstandings. By taking a closer look at a few of these misconceptions, we hope to clarify some major points about risk assessment overall.

Seeking Advances in Risk Communication

Seeking Advances in Risk Communication

In December, the National Reentry Resource Center and Dr. R. Karl Hanson and Dr. Guy Bourgon of Public Safety Canada hosted a second convening in a series of meetings focused on instituting a common language for improved risk communication.

Indianapolis Business Leaders Discuss Hiring Individuals with Criminal Records

Indianapolis Business Leaders Discuss Hiring Individuals with Criminal Records

Each year in Indianapolis, 5,000 to 8,000 people return home from incarceration. To support these individuals’ successful reentry, local government and business leaders met in the capital city recently to discuss strategies for improving the employment outcomes of people with criminal records.

Q & A with Margaret Love of the Collateral Consequences Resource Center

Q & A with Margaret Love of the Collateral Consequences Resource Center

Margaret Love, executive director of the recently launched Collateral Consequences Resource Center, talks with the CSG Justice Center about the center’s mission, goals, and featured resources, including national and state-specific information on post-conviction restoration of civil rights laws and policies.