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Colorado Passes Juvenile Justice Reform Bill

Colorado Passes Juvenile Justice Reform Bill

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the Juvenile Justice Reform Act (Senate Bill 108) on May 28—a crucial step toward aligning the state’s juvenile justice system with what research shows works to improve outcomes for youth, strengthen public safety, and efficiently use resources.

NRRC Director: Second Chance Month is Over, But a New Era of Work Must Begin

NRRC Director: Second Chance Month is Over, But a New Era of Work Must Begin

As April comes to a close, so does Second Chance Month, a time designated to focus attention on the millions of people returning from prison or jail each year. Ensuring their reentry back into communities is safe and successful matters to everyone. So it’s heartening to reflect on the momentum that now exists, and begin defining the future of reentry.

Second Chance Act Q&A: Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts

Second Chance Act Q&A: Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts

“Reentry is a process. It begins when individuals first enter our corrections system, not when they are about to exit it. We assess their needs, engage them in a plan for the future, provide them opportunities for positive change through treatment and programming, and equip them with job skills and healthy relationship habits.”

Second Chance Month Q&A: U.S. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner

Second Chance Month Q&A: U.S. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner

“Since the Second Chance Act was implemented, more than 160,000 men, women, and youth have benefitted from Second Chance Act grants. For example, in my home state of Wisconsin, we saw a 20 percent decrease in recidivism over a 10-year period after implementing reentry support programs. I’d call that a success.”

Second Chance Month Q&A: U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy

Second Chance Month Q&A: U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy

“The vast majority of people in our criminal justice system will one day be released. We all have a stake in ensuring they can succeed. It reduces recidivism and saves money. It’s also just the right thing to do.”

Second Chance Month Q&A: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson

Second Chance Month Q&A: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson

For people who have been convicted of a crime, a second chance can mean greater opportunity for a productive life. As governor, I’ve made a priority of exploring ways that we give the people inside our prisons and jails a bona fide second chance by preparing them for life before they leave prison.

Second Chance Month Q&A: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

Second Chance Month Q&A: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

“Every citizen in the state benefits when a person comes out of prison as a healthy and productive member of society. The truth is this: the vast majority of people who are currently incarcerated in our state will be released back to their community at some point.”

Second Chance Month Q&A: North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum

Second Chance Month Q&A: North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum

“People released from the criminal justice system become our neighbors when they reenter our communities, and it’s in everyone’s best interest that they are well-positioned to become productive members of the community with dignity and opportunities to succeed.”

National Reentry Resource Center Launches Clean Slate Clearinghouse

National Reentry Resource Center Launches Clean Slate Clearinghouse

Recently, the National Reentry Resource 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 Month Q&A: Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo

Second Chance Month Q&A: Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo

“We all benefit when individuals leaving prison have a place to live, a chance at higher education, and a good job. Studies show that having a clear pathway to reenter society reduces recidivism. It’s good for all our citizens—and our taxpayers—if people leaving incarceration become productive members of society.”

Second Chance Month Q&A: Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin

Second Chance Month Q&A: Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin

“Reentry means providing those in our criminal justice system with a path forward to becoming productive members of society after they have served their time. From the very beginning, America has been a land of second chances.”

Second Chance Month Q&A: Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont

Second Chance Month Q&A: Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont

“As a new governor, I have great respect for the innovative work that past Connecticut leaders have done to reduce our prison population and prepare people for their return to the community—all while driving crime down. But we have to build on that success. There’s far more work to be done to ensure that Connecticut is as safe and successful as possible.”

[WATCH] Reentry: What Does it Mean to You?

[WATCH] Reentry: What Does it Mean to You?

Learn how the National Reentry Resource Center can help weave the numerous threads of successful reentry together to promote safety, collaboration, and second chances. Follow us on social media with the hashtag #ReentryMatters.

Communities Celebrate Successful Reentry During Second Chance Month

Communities Celebrate Successful Reentry During Second Chance Month

Policymakers, corrections officials, practitioners, and other leaders plan to commemorate Second Chance Month—celebrated throughout April—with a host of activities highlighting efforts to support people transitioning from prison or jail back into the community.

Reentry Essentials: Prioritizing Treatment for Substance Addictions

Reentry Essentials: Prioritizing Treatment for Substance Addictions

A large proportion of people in the criminal justice system have substance addictions. While there is an overwhelming need to provide effective treatment, challenges exist in quantifying the extent of that need, providing appropriate treatment programming, and taking a strategic approach across systems.

Vermont’s Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategy: Highlights and Progress

Vermont’s Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategy: Highlights and Progress

Following four principles of corrections system improvement—organizational development, use of risk and needs assessments, quality improvement, and data collection and management—states like Vermont participate in SRR in an effort to reduce the likelihood of recidivism for every person under correctional supervision.

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Darius Dennis, Norfolk, Virginia

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Darius Dennis, Norfolk, Virginia

“I have the motivation to be in control of my own choices—for how I see my future and how I see my children’s future,” Darius Dennis said. “That’s what the program taught me. So it was absolutely the right thing for me at the right time.”

Reentry Essentials: The Role of Corrections in Reentry

Reentry Essentials: The Role of Corrections in Reentry

The primary function of correctional supervision was once seen as control and custody; however, corrections agencies have increasingly come to recognize that focusing on rehabilitation and planning for reentry are fundamental to their missions to increase public safety.

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Byron Davis, Birmingham, Alabama

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Byron Davis, Birmingham, Alabama

Byron Davis used the end of his sentence in Limestone Correctional Facility near Huntsville, Alabama, to get ready for his next step: searching for work back home in his community, just outside of Birmingham. He intended to put his conviction for dealing drugs behind him. “I don’t want to go back to that,” Davis said. “But I need to work, to make a living.”

Iowa’s Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategy: Highlights and Progress

Iowa’s Statewide Recidivism Reduction Strategy: Highlights and Progress

Following four principles of corrections system improvement—organizational development, use of risk and needs assessments, quality improvement, and data collection and management—states like Iowa participate in SRR in an effort to reduce the likelihood of recidivism for every person under correctional supervision.

Reentry Essentials: Addressing Mental Health Needs among People in the Criminal Justice System

Reentry Essentials: Addressing Mental Health Needs among People in the Criminal Justice System

A disproportionate number of people in the nation’s criminal justice system face mental health issues: a Bureau of Justice Statistics report found, for example, that people in U.S. prisons and jails are three to five times more likely to experience serious psychological distress than the general adult population. While there is an overwhelming need to provide effective treatment, challenges exist in quantifying the extent of that need and taking a strategic approach across systems—from law enforcement to community-based reentry services.

Seeking New Perspective, Interview Series Gives Firsthand Look at Criminal Record Clearance Experiences

Seeking New Perspective, Interview Series Gives Firsthand Look at Criminal Record Clearance Experiences

For the Record is produced by the Clean Slate Clearinghouse and features conversations between Rashawn Davis—a policy analyst at The CSG Justice Center—and people who are involved in the criminal record clearance field, including elected officials, lawyers, social workers, and people who have or have had a juvenile or criminal record (or individuals who are all four, or more).

For the Record: A Podcast Featuring Candid Conversations about Criminal Record Clearance—Episode 1, Khalil Cumberbatch

For the Record: A Podcast Featuring Candid Conversations about Criminal Record Clearance—Episode 1, Khalil Cumberbatch

The inaugural episode of For the Record features an interview with criminal justice reform advocate Khalil Cumberbatch, an associate vice president with the Fortune Society and someone who has an intimate knowledge of the series’ subject: he spent almost seven years in prison, and four years after that with a criminal record until he received a pardon in 2014.

Second Chance Act Grantee Takes Part in New Young Adult Correctional Program

Second Chance Act Grantee Takes Part in New Young Adult Correctional Program

The Middlesex, Massachusetts, Sheriff’s Office opened a new jail unit specifically for young adults this month. Established in partnership with the local nonprofit UTEC and the Vera Institute of Justice, the specialized unit—called People Achieving Change Together (PACT)—seeks to reduce recidivism by offering tailored programming to young people between the ages of 18 and 24 at the Middlesex Jail and House of Correction.

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.

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.”

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.

Get to Know the Expert: Q & A with Michael Pinard

Get to Know the Expert: Q & A with Michael Pinard

The CSG Justice Center staff spoke with board member Michael Pinard—the Francis and Harriet Iglehart Professor of Law and co-director of the Clinical Law Program at the University of Maryland (UM) Francis King Carey School of Law—about his thoughts on record clearance, drawing on his experiences as a public defender, professor, and co-founder of UM’s Reentry Clinic.

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.