Author: Greg Thomas
Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed August as Reentry Month in North Carolina, a time to highlight efforts at the local, state and federal level to assist formally incarcerated individuals with a smooth transition back into their communities.
Every year, thousands of individuals complete their sentences in the state’s correctional facilities. These people face many challenges. They need a place to live, a job, transportation and assistance creating a healthy life.
Support for those who have completed their sentences comes from several sources, including a coalition of resources from government, nonprofit and business communities to address key reentry issues. The goal of successful reentry is to support individuals beginning before they leave incarceration so they have the support and tools they need to continue to build successful lives and remain productive members of their communities.
In 2017, The North Carolina General Assembly established the State Reentry Council Collaborative (SRCC) to study the needs of people recently released and to increase the effectiveness of local reentry councils.
That lead to the creation of North Carolina’s Reentry Action plan in 2018, which reflects the state’s goal of assisting with the smooth transition of individuals back into their communities, while at the same time, identifying resource or service gaps that make that transition more difficult.
“Our reentry work begins before individuals have completed their sentences and continues after they return to their communities,” said Nicole Sullivan, director of Reentry Programs and Services. “We work to make sure they have the skills to rebuild their lives, help them make connections to family and resources, so they can overcome barriers like housing, employment and transportation.”
Reentry Month 2020
Due to COVID-19, two online events in observation of Reentry Month have been scheduled for Aug. 11 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. These events are aimed at helping reentry service providers, justice-involved people, and local and state government agencies learn more about the reentry landscape in the COVID-19 era, so that they can give up-to-date information to their clients, utilize this information themselves, and replicate the partnerships described here in their local communities.
Find the agenda here.
Driver’s License Restoration and Expunctions
NC Department of Public Safety Higher Education in Prison (HEP) Alumni Facebook group
Free Project Reentry Webinar Series
StepUp Employment Readiness Workshop