The question "have you ever been convicted of a felony?" is listed on nearly every employment application in the United States. For the nearly one in three American adults with a criminal record, this question all too often means the door to that particular employer is closed. Without access to viable job training and employment opportunities, many find themselves returning to prison, beginning a vicious cycle of recidivism that can perpetuate in families for generations.
In Ohio, there's been a concerted effort reduce recidivism. In 2015, Ohio Senator Rob Portman and Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy introduced a bill to reauthorize the Second Chance Act which supports re-entry programs. While it hasn't made it into law yet, the momentum around re-entry continues. In the last several years, many programs in the Mahoning Valley - and across the state - were created that are making strides in obtaining job training and employment for formerly incarcerated individuals.
Join us for a free conversation with local and regional leaders on the power of re-entry programs and how we, as a society, can ensure that everyone who wants to work, can work.