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364 Second Chance Month
SECOND CHANCE MONTH
WHEREAS, in the land of the free, a criminal record should not necessarily mean a lifetime disqualification from the opportunity to build a better life after a mistake, for oneself and one's family; and
WHEREAS, an estimated 70 million Americans have a criminal record, with 49,280 individuals incarcerated and 41,305 individuals are on probation and parole in Pennsylvania; and
WHEREAS, individuals returning from prison and those who have paid their debt after committing crime face significant barriers, also known as collateral consequences; and
WHEREAS, individuals with a criminal history often struggle to find housing, employment, or education; regain voting rights; volunteer in their community; and pay for significant debt that arises as a result of their conviction and incarceration; and
WHEREAS, the Council of State Governments reports that the number of legal collateral consequences of a criminal conviction exceeds 44,000, with 850 consequences specific to Pennsylvania; and
WHEREAS, these barriers can contribute to recidivism, which increases victimization and decreases public safety; and
WHEREAS, the stigma and legal barriers associated with a criminal record results in lost human capital and lost economic output for the United States; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania is leading the nation with a steady advancement of bipartisan criminal justice reforms focused on removing barriers that prevent advancement in the workforce: creating the nation's first Clean Slate law; creating a chance hiring policy for state government; and eliminating driver's license suspensions for non-driving infractions; all while seeing consecutive annual decreases in our prison population and a drop in crime.
THEREFORE, We, the commissioners of Warren County, do hereby proclaim April 2020, as SECOND CHANCE MONTH. This designation contributes to increased public awareness about the need for closure for those who have paid their debt, and opportunities for individuals, employers, congregations, and communities to extend second chances.
ADOPTED, this 11th day of March, 2020.
COMMISSIONERS OF WARREN COUNTY
Tricia D. Durbin
Attest: Vice Chair
Pamela J. Matve Jeff Eggleston
Chief Clerk Commissioner