U.S. Attorney’s Office Partnering with Community Organizations to Reduce Recidivism
Month of April Designated as “Second Chance Month”
In recognition of “Second Chance Month,” the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa is collaborating with local partners to reduce recidivism by helping individuals leaving prison. In a presidential proclamation, President Trump designated April 2018 as “Second Chance Month,” urging communities to raise awareness about crime prevention and providing those offenders who have served their time “an opportunity for an honest second chance.”
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa has been deeply involved with many community partners in crime prevention and reentry efforts for the past several years. Some recent initiatives surrounding “Second Chance Month” include:
- A partnership with the Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services, Neighborhood Transportation Service, the RISE program, Cedar Rapids Police Department, the FBI, and neighborhood leaders, in which individuals coming from state prison into the Cedar Rapids area attend a mandatory gathering where they learn about resources available to them in the community as well as the consequences of continued criminal activity.
- A partnership with the FBI and the State Training School, Iowa Department of Human Services, to meet with juvenile offenders at the Eldora State Training School. During this meeting, these juveniles learn about resources available to them as they become adults. They also learn about the unfortunate paths that some State Training School alum took, leading to lifelong interactions with the adult criminal justice system.
- Hosting several recent “Reentry Simulations,” which provide participants an opportunity to “step inside the shoes” of someone being released from prison, to allow them to see the obstacles that exist in an ex-offender’s transition from prison back to the community. Recent simulations included area employers, education professionals, treatment professionals, and community members.
United States Attorney Peter Deegan indicated that the United States Attorney’s Office continues to be supportive of community reentry efforts, noting that, “Our number one goal as prosecutors is to increase public safety. A successful transition from prison back to the community is a critical component in reducing recidivism and keeping our communities safe.” Deegan encouraged community members and organizations to get involved, noting that “Second Chance Month provides a great opportunity for employers, local organizations, and community members to find out what role they can play in the effort to reduce recidivism and provide an opportunity for an honest second chance.”
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