News and Events

April is Second Chance Month

Each April, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs celebrates Second Chance Month to recognize the importance of helping individuals, communities, and agencies across the country appreciate their role in supporting the safe and successful reentry of millions of people returning from incarceration each year. Second Chance Month aims to inform and highlight the many opportunities for state, local, and Tribal governments and community-based service providers to build meaningful second chances for our returning community members.


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Past News & Events


Alabama Reestablishes Commission to Aid Formerly Incarcerated Individuals 

May 17, 2024 

On May 17, 2024, Governor Kay Ivey signed Senate Bill 162 into law, reestablishing the Study Commission on Interagency Cooperation and Collaboration on the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Formerly Incarcerated Individuals. This significant step follows the commission’s two-year collaboration process, which concluded in 2023 with a final report of recommendations to strengthen reentry efforts and enhance collaboration among state agencies. 

As a result of these recommendations, Alabama proudly became the second state in the nation to launch the Reentry 2030 initiative. The reestablished commission is ready to drive the state toward the ambitious goals set by Reentry 2030, including a 50 percent reduction in recidivism by 2030 and a significant increase in participation in workforce development services. 

The new legislation also mandates the formation of strategic partnerships aimed at expanding access to career pathways for people returning from incarceration, ensuring they have the support and opportunities needed for successful reintegration into their communities. 


Missouri Ramps Up Efforts to Improve Reintegration Success through Reentry 2030: Update One Year Later

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

In April 2023, Missouri became the first state in the country to join the Reentry 2030 initiative and commit to bold goals to improve reentry success for all. This April, we’re celebrating the significant strides that Missouri has made in the past year toward achieving its Reentry 2030 goals. Learn more about Missouri’s accomplishments in establishing cross-sector partnerships to provide coordinated reentry support, removing barriers to employment, and increasing employment opportunities, as well as its next steps.


Alabama: Meet ALEX | The Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles Hosts Mobile Job Fair at Huntsville Day Reporting Center

Friday, April 19, 2024

More than 100 participants were able to get a step up in their career by attending the on-site ALEX Activation Event, hosted by the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles in partnership with Alabama Power, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, and Ingram State Technical College. The Alabama Experience, or ALEX, is a mobile exhibit featuring a collection of interactive kiosks and informational pieces, as well as a knowledgeable staff who walk visitors through every aspect of life in Alabama. This workforce development tool allows people to be introduced to building trades, learn about educational opportunities, interact with local employers, and connect to thriving careers in the state. Those interested in finding work are matched to specific industries and introduced electronically to the proper representatives.

Within the trailer, ALEX provides career information in sectors spanning construction, information technology, and nursing, among many other paths. Participants compared the earning potential and cost of living between cities in Alabama and cities across the U.S. to plan effectively. Many of the careers have an earning potential of $100,000 or more. One of the most unique features of the trailer is a collection of virtual reality headsets, which allow participants to experience a normal day on the worksite using a full, 360-degree range of motion.

“ALEX offers a tremendous opportunity for bringing reentry and job training efforts to the next level,” said Cam Ward, Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles. “We are proud of our work with Alabama Power, the Alabama Community College System, and many other stakeholders to get more people ready to fill the in-demand jobs and industries that help move our state forward. I look forward to expanding these partnerships in the future.”


Nebraska: New Law Expands Resources for Those Returning to the Community from Incarceration in Nebraska

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Nebraska signed into law LB631, expanding resources for those returning to the community after incarceration and increasing community engagement around criminal justice.

LB631 establishes Community Work Release and Reentry Centers, creates the National Career Readiness Certificate Pilot Program, and transfers the Division of Parole Supervision to the Department of Correctional Services. The bill also establishes the Reentry Continuity Advisory Board to promote the interests of reentering persons and their families, enhance public safety through effective reintegration into the community, and engage with neighborhood groups and other stakeholders.

“April is Second Chance Month, and communities across the country are recognizing the importance of safe and successful reentry,“ said Rob Jeffreys, director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. “We appreciate the confidence Governor Pillen and the Nebraska Legislature have placed in our agency to build second chances for our returning citizens. The reentry focus of this bill aligns with our TRANSFORM Nebraska framework, which includes the national Reentry 2030 initiative, and supports continuity of services for the men and women who are reentering our communities.”


North Carolina: Governor Cooper’s Joint Reentry Council Meeting Features Prison Education Superintendent

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The meeting of the Joint Reentry Council, established by Gov. Roy Cooper under Executive Order 303, which directs all State Cabinet agencies to coordinate efforts in improving rehabilitation and reentry of people returning to their communities after incarceration, featured Dr. Brooke Wheeler, superintendent of Correctional Education Services. Dr. Wheeler outlined educational and occupational opportunities available in state prison facilities and explained the significant reduction in recidivism they help achieve.

The Joint Reentry Council’s next meeting is May 16, 2024, 10 a.m. – noon ET.
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Nebraska: Key Partnership Expands Higher Education Access to People Incarcerated in Nebraska

Friday, March 15, 2024

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) has partnered with Southeast Community College (SCC) to expand higher education access to people incarcerated in five southeast Nebraska facilities/locations. SCC enrolled 229 people who are incarcerated for the 2024 spring semester, and more than 30 SCC faculty are teaching on-site and revising courses to meet security needs.

“People who are incarcerated who participate in correctional education programs are 43 percent less likely to return to prison within three years, and these odds decrease as they achieve higher levels of education,” said NDCS Director Rob Jeffreys. “This partnership with SCC brings a wealth of knowledge inside our walls and gives students the tools—and hope—to envision and work toward a future.”

In July 2023, the Department of Education reinstated Federal Pell Grant eligibility to people who are incarcerated, paving the way for SCC to create a Prison Education Program (PEP). While waiting for approval to become a Pell-funded PEP, SCC has begun offering courses to people who are incarcerated using alternative funding.

“Partnering with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services to provide access to higher education and vocational training is an honor and privilege,” said Amy Doty, dean of correctional education at SCC. “We could not be more excited about the opportunity to empower and transform justice-involved students with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities necessary for personal growth and successful reentry into their communities and workforce.”


Nebraska: The Fourth Reentry 2030 State Issues Proclamation 

Thursday, February 1, 2024 

Nebraska has become the latest state to join Reentry 2030, following North Carolina’s launch and executive order signing in January. In partnership with The Council of State Governments Justice Center, Correctional Leaders Association, JustLeadershipUSA, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, Nebraska will unite state and local agencies to improve reentry services. Governor Jim Pillen has spearheaded this commitment to Reentry 2030 by proclaiming February 1 as Returning Citizen Reintegration Day.   

Nebraska’s goals include the following:   

  • Promote education, with a 30 percent increase in GED completion during incarceration, 15 percent increase in GED proctors, and 50 percent increase in college coursework enrollment. 
  • Expand program participation, with a 50 percent increase in utilization of tablet programming and 25 percent increase in participation in Vocational and Life Skills programming. 
  • Ensure 100 percent of eligible individuals who are incarcerated are enrolled in Medicaid. 
  • Assist 100 percent of individuals who are incarcerated with obtaining state identification and birth certificates prior to release. 
  • Provide support so that at least 90 percent of individuals who are released will be gainfully employed within 30 days of parole placement. 
  • Develop a systemic approach to reentry through the creation of a statewide reentry council composed of public, private, and service provider entities.

“Launching Reentry 2030 in Nebraska confirms our commitment to rehabilitation and second chances. By setting bold goals, fostering collaboration, and embracing innovation, we aim to build a state where every individual, regardless of past challenges, can reintegrate with safety, intentionality, and purpose. Nebraska leads the way in redefining success, ensuring the well-being of families and communities—the Nebraska Way.” Governor Jim Pillen

“We are embarking on a transformative journey with a holistic approach to preparing individuals for reentry into society. This initiative represents a commitment to comprehensive rehabilitation, equipping individuals with the tools they need for a successful return to community life. It’s about fostering growth, building bridges, and ensuring that every person leaving our facilities has a genuine opportunity for a positive reintegration into society.” Rob Jeffreys, director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services 


North Carolina: Governor Cooper Issues Historic Executive Order Directing Whole-of-Government Coordination to Improve Reentry for Formerly Incarcerated People in North Carolina

Monday, January 29, 2024

Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 303 directing whole-of-government coordination to improve reentry for formerly incarcerated people in the most significant effort targeted at strengthening reentry in state history. The order establishes a unified approach to improving education, rehabilitation, and reentry services for formerly incarcerated people in North Carolina.


North Carolina: The Third Reentry 2030 State — Governor Cooper Takes Historic Action with Executive Order

Monday, January 29, 2024

North Carolina has become the third state to join Reentry 2030, following Missouri and Alabama’s pioneering launches last year. In partnership with The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance, North Carolina’s Department of Adult Correction will unite with state and local agencies to improve reentry services. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has spearheaded this commitment by signing Executive Order No. 303, solidifying North Carolina’s dedication to Reentry 2030.  

North Carolina’s goals include the following:  

  • Launch a Joint Reentry 2030 council. 
  • Provide access to educational and employment opportunities through increasing the number of high school and post-secondary degrees by 75 percent. 
  • Expand access to behavioral health and substance use treatment.  
  • Ensure all eligible people obtain Medicaid upon release.  
  • Reduce homelessness among returnees by 50 percent by expanding housing opportunities.  

“Strengthening reentry services for formerly incarcerated people is both the right and smart thing to do.”“This executive order directs a whole-of-government approach to improve reentry services, strengthen our economy, make communities safer, and give people the second chance they deserve.” Governor Roy Cooper

“It takes a village to ensure successful reentry. Thank you for your support, which will translate into a safer North Carolina […] as we make implementation of this executive order a transformative success.” Department of Adult Correction Secretary Todd Ishee


Alabama: The Next Reentry 2030 State Commits to Reducing Recidivism by 50 Percent 

Friday, October 6, 2023 

Highlights:  

Alabama has officially become the latest state to join Reentry 2030. In partnership with The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Alabama Bureau of Paroles and Pardons and various public and private partners commit to comprehensive reentry reform by bringing together diverse resources and expertise. Joining Missouri, a pioneer state that signed onto this initiative earlier this year, Alabama is dedicated to reshaping reentry efforts to make a lasting impact. 

Their goals include the following: 

  • Reduce the state’s recidivism rate by 50 percent by 2030. 
  • Strengthen the workforce participation of formerly incarcerated Alabamians by 50 percent. The state aims to expand educational services and create employment opportunities to bolster the workforce. This includes providing access to high-demand skill sets, such as welding, forklift operations, electrical work, and tree trimming. 

The launch event was held at the Perry County Probation and Parole Reentry Education Program (PREP) Center, where probationers and parolees receive rehabilitation services, such as substance use and mental health treatment, in addition to education and employment training. The Alabama Bureau of Paroles and Pardons rallied with local and state organizations involved in reentry success, including the Alabama Department of Corrections, Alabama Department of Labor, Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs, GEO Reentry Services, and Alabama Power. Attendees heard from these entities about their support and commitment to successful reintegration and were given the opportunity to tour the PREP Center and hear about services that prepare individuals for their reentry into society. 

“What we’re doing today is turning the findings of a report into a reality for our state. Alabama has a recidivism rate of 28–30 percent. We’re 25th in the country, but who wants to claim victory because we’re halfway in the middle? No, we want to be one of the best. We want to cut recidivism in half by the end of this decade. All of the partners you see here today are committed to the same goal. Together, let’s become one of the top states in the country on how we deal with recidivism.”  Cam Ward, director of Alabama Bureau of Paroles and Pardons

As a pivotal part of the Reentry 2030 launch, attendees also participated in the Utility Tree Trimming Program graduation ceremony. Graduates shared their personal journeys and spoke about the invaluable support they received from the program. Their stories were a testament to the positive impact of the program on their lives, highlighting the acquisition of new skills, increased self-confidence, and their aspirations for a brighter future. 


Video: Shaping the Future of Reentry—Insights from Director Megan Quattlebaum on Scripps News 

Monday, May 15, 2023

In this interview with Scripps News, Director Megan Quattlebaum of The Council of State Governments Justice Center discusses the challenges of reentry and the promise of the Reentry 2030 initiative. Reentry 2030 aims to engage all 50 states in improving reentry success for people exiting prison and those under supervision.


Missouri: The First Reentry 2030 State

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Highlights:

Missouri has signed on as the first Reentry 2030 State! In partnership with The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Missouri Department of Corrections plans to work with public and private partners to support incarcerated people in finding and maintaining employment upon release.   

Their goals include the following: 

  • 100 percent of incarcerated Missourians who need career services receive them. 
  • 85 percent of incarcerated Missourians are employed within 30 days of release. 
  • 80 percent of formerly incarcerated Missourians maintain their employment for at least nine months after release. 

At the launch event, the Missouri Department of Corrections and other state and local agencies and community organizations committed to partnering to drive the success of this initiative. Attendees heard from two people with lived experience in the criminal justice system who spoke about the importance of the support they received upon reentering their communities.  

“I’m so excited that we’re to the point of reimagining reentry instead of continuing what we always have done. We’re challenging the status quo. I’m so proud of the support in Missouri to make our communities better.”  Anne Precythe, director of the Missouri Department of Corrections

Governor Mike Parson was also in attendance and offered his support for Reentry 2030.  

“We’ve become the first state to initiate this—to say we care, and we’re really going to make a difference.” Governor Mike Parson


Advancing Successful Reintegration for Every Person: Reentry 2030 National Launch

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Watch Broadcast:

Advancing Successful Reintegration for Every Person: Reentry 2030 National Launch will featured thought leaders from across the country discussing how states can better scale-up access to supports, clear away barriers to opportunities and economic mobility, and work to advance racial equity by joining the Reentry 2030 movement.

Watch the broadcast and learn how Reentry 2030 can help amplify statewide efforts and build momentum, give states the opportunity to learn from each other in real-time as they work on similar goals, and ultimately see significant advances in reentry and reintegration on a national level by 2030.

Reentry 2030 is a national initiative to achieve better and more equitable reentry and reintegration outcomes by engaging states to adopt public, ambitious goals that drive system change. It is also a partnership between the Correctional Leaders Association, The Council of State Governments Justice Center, and JustLeadershipUSA. The event and initiative are supported by Arnold Ventures, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. Additional funding is provided by the Tow Foundation and Microsoft.

Thank you to our guest speakers:

Opening and keynote remarks

U.S. Representative Danny K. Davis, 7th District of Illinois 

U.S. Senator Robert Jones Portman, Ohio 

Amy Solomon, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

Roundtable discussion

Dylan Hayre, Director of Criminal Justice, Arnold Ventures 

DeAnna Hoskins, President and CEO, JustLeadershipUSA 

Anne Precythe, Director, Missouri Department of Corrections 

Tom Robbins, Contributing Writer, The Marshall Project

Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr., State Senator, 17th District, Illinois General Assembly 

Reentry 2030: Perspectives

John Agnew, Substance Abuse Center of Kansas

Shounda Edward, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana

James Hodgkins, Goodwill Industries of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties

Justin Thomas, Ripple Affect Media