April is Second Chance Month and, with that, we celebrate the important role legal aid organizations and public defense providers can play in helping people with criminal records. There are tens of thousands civil collateral consequences of having a criminal record, such as having to disclose prior convictions on job applications, difficulty securing an occupational license, or losing one’s drivers’ license. Receiving legal services can help stabilize housing and reduce barriers to employment for the almost 75 million, or one-in-three, American adults facing these consequences.
This week in the news: Read about the benefits of expungement, how more areas in the United States are turning to drug courts, what the US Department of Justice is doing to make sure opioids are responsibly distributed, and how juvenile justice systems in the country are working to give youth a second chance.
In 2014, Tracey Jones celebrated ten years working at the same daycare center. There is no question that Tracey is meant to work with children. Walk down Courtlandt Avenue with her, and you will hear kids yelling, “Hi, Miss Tracey!” When she hears the greeting, she stops what she’s doing and opens her arms. She scoops them up, remembers their names, the last time she babysat them, and in a few cases, the last time she babysat their parents.
This week in the news: Read about the legislation put out by Congressman Elijah E. Cummings and US Senator Cory Booker in honor of Second Chances Month meant to ease the barriers to re-entry, the voting rights that could be in jeopardy, and the objections raised over president Trump’s top pick for the No. 2 post at the Department of Justice.
I first learned about the issues that can arise with the over-consumption of alcohol in a freshmen seminar in college. Before that, I had no formal introduction or training on the negative consequences that can result from drinking and driving. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Impaired (DWI) are increasingly becoming a national issue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that’s one person every 48 minutes in 2017.”1 People who are proven guilty of DUI/DWI can then end up in treatment courts.
It’s finally spring and April – a month our criminal justice community has dedicated as Second Chance Month. At JPO, we join our community in bringing attention to the importance of second chances and the need to ensure that those impacted by the criminal justice system gain opportunities to restore their voting rights, find employment, get a driver’s license, have their record(s) expunged, and more. Continue reading “Spring is a Time for Renewal and for Second Chances”
This week in news: Read about the need to focus on women when considering criminal justice reform and the benefits of expunging records for those who have served their time, hear from JPO Director Ball on treatment courts, find out about Ohio’s new sentencing proposals for drug possession, and more.
This week in news: public and private stakeholders discuss what comes next after passage of the First Step Act; the CDC releases the latest report on the opioid crisis; and youth justice issues make headlines at the National Conference on Juvenile Justice.