Each year approximately 3,500 individuals return to Cuyahoga County after serving time in prison or jail. These individuals face collateral sanctions (both state laws and administrative rules) that can limit their ability to find employment. Exacerbating the situation, employers are hesitant to hire somebody with a record due to false assumptions and misconceptions. However, the data shows that being employed post-release provides much-needed income and purpose, and in turn, reduces the chance a returning citizen will recidivate.
Still, the conversation is beginning to shift in response to a deeper understanding of the racial inequities embedded in the criminal-legal system, and the growing need for employees. Yet, work remains to demonstrate the immense value that returning citizens provide to an organization’s culture and productivity.
Join Andre Ward, Associate Vice President of the David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy at the Fortune Society, for a conversation on the importance of lessening institutional and legal barriers to employment for returning citizens, and how such changes can create stronger and more equitable communities. Mr. Ward is a social worker and longtime advocate for individuals who face barriers due to past involvement in the criminal-legal system, chemical dependency, and/or mental health issues.
The New York based Fortune Society was founded in 1967 to support the successful reentry from incarceration and promote alternatives to incarceration, thus strengthening the fabric of our communities.
In honor of the 2023 Charles R. See Forum on Reentry in partnership with Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, the City Club will welcome Andre Ward for opening remarks, followed by a panel conversation with leaders in the field on collateral sanctions.
The livestream will be available beginning at 12:00pm. Have questions? Tweet them at @TheCityClub or send a text to 330.541.5794.
Production and distribution of City Club forums in partnership with Ideastream Public Media is generously provided by PNC and the United Black Fund.