Washington, D.C. — This past week, President Joe Biden declared April as Second Chance Month, marking the moment as an opportunity to reduce the barriers to reentry for people coming home from incarceration and to “recommit to helping people forge the new beginnings they have earned and [build] a safer and more just society.” In recognition of the president’s proclamation, Akua Amaning, director of Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
For the nearly 80 million Americans navigating life with the stigma of an arrest or conviction record, critical support such as housing, employment, education, and even health care can be out of reach. As President Biden notes, “Our justice system should … be based on the simple premise that once someone completes their sentence, they should have the chance to earn a living, build a life, and participate in our democracy as fellow citizens.”
We must invest in comprehensive and innovative solutions, such as investing in reentry services and the Clean Slate Act, that will ensure that those who have paid their debt to society have a fair and equitable opportunity to rebuild their lives and meaningfully contribute to their communities.
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