SECOND CHANCE MONTH
The goal of incarceration and community supervision has been redefined. The primary purpose of incapacitating a person convicted of a crime until their sentence was complete was an approach that inevitably led to high recidivism rates and wasted taxpayer dollars. But today, leaders across the country have come to acknowledge that 95 percent of the nation’s incarcerated population will eventually return to their communities, and a big part of ensuring public safety is preparing people for that transition.
These advancements are happening right here in our AV-East Kern County. It’s never too late to help turn a life around. That’s what AV-East Kern Second Chance is all about. It’s about helping people realize their potential: people who’ve made a mistake, but paid their debt… people who don’t want to turn back to a life of crime but need our support to get back on track, find redemption, to set the past aside, embrace the future and make a positive contribution to our economy through our Expungement/Post-Conviction Relief Project.
April marks Second Chance Month, where projects like ours throughout the country will spread awareness of the importance of reentry and celebrate the hard work they’ve done. These efforts—which include creating access to employment, finding stable housing, and providing effective parole/probation supervision—which all contribute to the complex fabric of successful reentry. We still have a long way to go, but there’s more now momentum than ever. Let’s not lose that forward motion. With the research on what works to reduce recidivism expanding, and both sides of the political aisle advocating programs and policies that promote successful reentry, we’ve never been more equipped to make communities like ours safer and we’ve never been more prepared to support second chances.