April marks Second Chance Month, an opportunity to raise awareness of the barriers that many justice-impacted individuals face when reentering society and to highlight policy solutions that could ensure returning citizens have a fair opportunity to reach their full potential. It also marks two full years into the COVID-19 pandemic, which, despite some gains, has disproportionately forced 864,000 women out of the workforce. For justice-impacted women—especially Black women—this “shecession” has only exacerbated the permanent recession that millions of women and families impacted by criminal records were already facing pre-pandemic.
Nearly 1 in 2 children in the United States has a parent with a criminal record. Every year, the stigma of a criminal record denies millions of families access to fundamental resources that can mean the difference between charting a path toward future prosperity and being stuck in a cycle of poverty and recidivism.
The above excerpt was originally published in Newsweek. Click here to view the full article.