Transforming Lives: Second Chance Week Recap

Parole Project celebrated Second Chance Week from Monday, April 15 through Friday, April 19 with appearances on local television and radio shows, through our social media channels, and by hosting multiple events at our office. Our goal was to highlight the power of second chances and those who play a part in our clients’ successes. Throughout the week supporters, stakeholders, client family members, and other second chance facilitators joined us in recognizing our clients’ journeys and contributions to their communities.

On Monday we honored the dedication of our staff and board members who serve our clients and further our mission to enhance public safety. “The work that each of you do has not gone unnoticed,” said executive director Andrew Hundley. “You are making an undeniable impact in our community.”

At Tuesday’s corrections professionals’ day, Department of Public Safety and Corrections Secretary James LeBlanc noted Parole Project’s growth during his time in the position. “What you have accomplished is amazing. Second chances are real,” he said. “Parole Project is a reflection of that and it motivates us to keep doing what we’re doing.”

On Wednesday we focused on the importance of second chance hiring. We hosted employers, community college representatives, and industry leaders, along with several employed clients, to show how career opportunities reduce recidivism and promote long-term success. Guest Holly Martin-Picuo, chief administrative officer at CSRS, shared her perspective on hiring formerly incarcerated persons. She spoke highly of Parole Project client Kendrick, who has worked for the company for nearly two years. “His leadership stood out, even in the interview process,” she said. “He is trusted at every level of the organization.”

Thursday’s event emphasized the contributions of our volunteers who make our clients feel welcomed into our communities and who help remove barriers when they come home. “You do more than teach life skills. You make our clients feel accepted,” said Christi Cheramie. “The investment you make in people’s lives is evident in their success.”

Friday’s family appreciation day recognized how families are impacted by incarceration and how second chances have helped make them whole once again. Former client James spoke of the willingness his daughter and son-in-law had to make space in their lives once he was released from prison. “My gratitude can never be overstated. It means the world to be with them,” he said. “It’s a blessing to be home.”

If you were unable to catch any of our media appearances during Second Chance Week, you can watch and listen by clicking the links below.

Thank you to all who participated in our Second Chance Week activities and to those who contributed to our online fundraiser. We raised more than $40,000. If you didn’t get a chance to contribute and would like to make an impact, you can donate here. Watch the videos we shared on social media during Second Chance Week.

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