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Governor Cooper Proclaims April 23 – 27 as Reentry Week in North Carolina Removing barriers for formerly incarcerated people is key to building safer communities

RALEIGH

Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed April 23-27, 2018 as Reentry Week in North Carolina to draw attention to efforts to help formerly incarcerated people become productive members of their communities.

“North Carolina is better and safer when people who’ve paid their debt to society can find a path to success,” Gov. Cooper said. “Most people serving time in our prisons will eventually be released, and we want to help them return to their communities without returning to the ways that put them behind bars in the first place.”

Common challenges include finding affordable housing, securing employment, and reliable transportation to be able to keep a job.

Last year, Gov. Cooper tasked Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks with developing a reentry action plan to comprehensively address reentry issues and improve the transition for people returning from jail or prison. Established by lawmakers in 2017, the State Reentry Council Collaborative (SRCC) is comprised of a cross-section of private and public stakeholders who are working on reentry, including implementation of this action plan.

Reentry Week is an opportunity for stakeholders like those involved with the SRCC to highlight the reentry work that is happening across the state. Many of North Carolina’s 14 local reentry councils are hosting events during Reentry Week. Supported by the Department of Public Safety, these networks of community-based organizations assist people returning from prison with connecting to necessary services. The reentry councils also increase public awareness of the importance of supporting formerly incarcerated people and share strategies for doing so.

“We’re working to pool the skills and resources of community and government leaders, law enforcement, faith and advocacy groups and more to help people leaving our prisons and jails reenter society successfully,” said Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks, who chairs the SRCC. “Not only will this work improve public safety by reducing crime and repeat offenders, it can also fill potential gaps in the workforce, foster economic independence, and lift up families and communities.”

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