U.S. Attorney Presents Opening Remarks at 2016 Reentry Symposium
Justice Department Designates April 24-30 as National Reentry Week
DALLAS — On the first day of National Reentry Week, U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas, presented opening remarks this morning at the 2016 Reentry Symposium held at the Belo Mansion in Dallas. More than 300 stakeholders, government representatives, community leaders and reentry service providers attended the day-long symposium that was hosted by Unlocking Doors, a Texas Reentry Network.
“Supporting successful reentry is an essential part of this District’s mission to promote public safety, and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity, on this first day of National Reentry Week, to address the hundreds attending today’s symposium,” said U.S. Attorney Parker. “The bottom line is that removing the barriers to employment, housing and education for those trying to return from prison reduces crime and makes our neighborhoods safer places to live.”
As part of this Administration’s commitment to strengthening the criminal justice system, the Department of Justice designated this week, April 24-30, 2016, as National Reentry Week. During this week, U.S. Attorney Offices are coordinating reentry events designed to raise awareness about the importance of reentry work. With more than 600,000 individuals each year returning to neighborhoods after serving time in federal and state prisons, and another 1.4 million individuals cycling through local jails, addressing the challenges they face is a fundamental and vital task. Whether an arrest occurred recently or long ago, individuals with criminal records, and particularly recently-incarcerated individuals, face serious and complex obstacles to successful reentry.
The Department has been working through the Federal Interagency Reentry Council to reduce policy barriers to successful reentry, opening up opportunities in education, job placement, housing, healthcare, and a host of other areas critical to successful reintegration. The Department is also raising awareness of the importance of reentry strategies that both increase public safety and fulfill our nation’s commitment to the promise of individual redemption.
In addition to presenting a comprehensive overview of reentry in Texas – from incarceration to the community, the Unlocking Doors Texas Reentry Symposium featured speakers who addressed topics such as the effects of ban-the-box/defer-the-box, expungement and non-disclosure on employment; homelessness; and combatting the implications of juveniles being incarcerated as adults.
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