By CSG Justice Center Staff
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.
Second Chance Month was born out of the Second Chance Act, a law passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush on April 9, 2008. The legislation, which Congress reauthorized in December with bipartisan support, created the National Reentry Resource Center and funds work to improve reentry outcomes in communities across the country.
These efforts have built on extensive research and the tireless efforts of local leaders across the country to change the nation’s perception of reentry from simply keeping people within the walls of their facilities. Today, leaders of all kinds agree that reducing recidivism promotes public safety, strengthens collaboration across agencies, and builds stronger communities.
As the National Reentry Resource Center celebrates Second Chance Month, we want to highlight events happening across the country that showcase the rich reentry landscape that facilitates opportunities for people returning to their communities from incarceration, which range from resource fairs to interviews with governors on what reentry means to them. You can find a calendar of these events below, and you can follow the discussion on social media throughout the month using #ReentryMatters.
Are you doing something to commemorate Second Chance Month? Send us an email and let us know!
Second Chance Month Events
2019 Prison Reform Summit and First Step Act Celebration
The White House hosts an invitation-only event celebrating the successful passage of the First Step Act last December, as well as holds discussions over the course of the day on potential reform efforts in the future.
Hartsville, South Carolina
2019 Workforce Reentry Seminar: Fill in the Gaps
The Hartsville Chamber of Commerce holds a workforce reentry seminar that provides tips about resume writing, effective interviewing, and searching for jobs.
Check out our interview with newly elected Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on what reentry means to him.
Check out our interview with Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin on what reentry means to him.
Providence, Rhode Island
Check out our interview with Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo on what reentry means to her.
New York, New York
Launch of New Clean Slate Clearinghouse
The Clean Slate Clearinghouse—a project funded by, and developed in partnership with, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)—is an online resource that provides information and resources on juvenile and adult record clearance in all states and U.S. territories. Check out the new website, including interactive maps and updated information, at cleanslateclearinghouse.org.
Eleventh Anniversary of George W. Bush Signing the Second Chance Act
On April 9, 2008, then-President George W. Bush signed the Second Chance Act into law with bipartisan support behind him. Since then, the Second Chance Act has funded countless vital programs and systems reforms aimed at improving the reentry process, including the National Reentry Resource Center; the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, part of the First Step Act, was passed in December 2018.
Beaver, West Virginia
West Virginia Reentry Resource Fair
In addition to providing community services and supports for those reentering the community from incarceration, the Southern West Virginia Reentry Council’s resource fair features a reentry simulation to demonstrate challenges and barriers faced by this population.
Fargo, North Dakota
Check out our interview with North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum on what reentry means to him.
Second Chance Month 2019 – Minnesota 5K
Prison Fellowship and the University of Northwestern will host the third annual Second Chance 5K in Minnesota. To register, visit here.
Check out our interview with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on what reentry means to him.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Check out our interview with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on what reentry means to him.
Jersey City, New Jersey
The Road to Salvation: From Addiction to Employment Conference
Speakers at the New Jersey Reentry Corporation’s annual conference will include Senator Bob Menendez, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.
Juvenile Rehabilitation in Washington State will host a Second Chance Month event to celebrate its Pre-Apprenticeship Manufacturing Academy program at Bates Technical College.
The University of Akron School of Law is hosting a free Reentry Clinic that will provide assistance with record sealing and applications for the Certificate of Qualification for Employment.
Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Cuyahoga County, Ohio, will celebrate Reentry Awareness Week with a legislative breakfast, panel discussion on research-based efforts in reentry, facing housing discrimination with a criminal background, and other topics.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Reentry Alliance of Louisiana (REAL) Annual Conference
REAL’s fifth annual conference provides information on best practices for a successful reentry and honors champions from across the state in a series of plenaries about building coalitions and improving communities. U.S. Congressman Cedric Richards is the keynote speaker. Register here.
The Central Iowa Works Reentry Task Force will host a reentry summit for employers and a facility tour at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women.
The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development will host a series of hiring events and a job fair from April 23 to April 28 at the Anchorage Midtown Job Fair.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The Orleans Public Defenders, the Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana, and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services are hosting a free workshop on filing for expungement.
National Reentry Resource Center Presents: A Q&A with U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy
Visit NationalReentryResourceCenter.org to see our our reentry-focused interview with Sen. Leahy.
Compass For Change will host a free seminar on entrepreneurship for people returning to their communities after criminal justice system involvement.
National Reentry Resource Center Presents: A Q&A with U.S. Senator Jim Sensenbrenner
Visit NationalReentryResourceCenter.org to see our our reentry-focused interview with Sen. Sensenbrenner.
Family ReEntry Discussion About Successful Reentry
Family ReEntry will speak about successful reentry and life in the criminal justice system.
Alexandria Reentry Resource Fair
The Alexandria Reentry Council will host a reentry resource fair where returning citizens and their families will have the chance to interact with community partners, gain information, and get their questions answered.
2019 Reentry Employer Forum
The second annual Reentry Employer forum educates employers about the benefits of hiring people who face barriers to employment. The event features Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona Cardinals CEO Michael Bidwill as speakers.