April is Second Chance Month, which highlights efforts to support people returning to their communities from incarceration and ensure safe, successful reentry.

In honor of Second Chance Month, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS&C) is partnering with community providers to host a variety of in-person and virtual events. Under their Return For Good initiative, these events will raise awareness of efforts throughout the state of Louisiana and the country to support directly impacted people and the communities they will rejoin.

How can I get involved?

Register for “Second Chances, First Steps” hybrid event

DPS&C will partner with the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI), with funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, to host the “Second Chances, First Steps: Exploring How Emergency Transitional Housing Reduces Barriers to Reentry in Louisiana” event. This event will highlight common issues facing individuals upon reentry. Supportive housing is an important aspect of successful reentry after incarceration. This event will highlight Louisiana’s efforts to reduce barriers by providing emergency transitional housing to those in need. Presenters will include Valerie Meade, Deputy Director, CJI, Nicole George, DPS&C Justice Reinvestment Coordinator, and Steven Barnes, Program Director, The Refinery Mission. This event will be moderated by Natalie LaBourde, Executive Council for DPS&C. It is open to the public and community stakeholders interested in making a meaningful impact.

When: April 6, 2023 from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm Central

Where: Attend in-person at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA  70806, or attend virtually by registering in advance for this webinar here.

Additional opportunities to get involved

In addition to the above event, DPS&C will host a series of Return For Good events geared toward supporting individuals reentering the community after incarceration:

March 31, 2023: Return for Good Second Chance Forum

April 3, 2023: Advancing Occupational Licensing Policies in 2023 and Beyond

April 28, 2023: Untapped Talent Summit

Louisiana’s justice improvement efforts

In 2017, Louisiana passed a comprehensive criminal justice reform package as a result of its Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) effort. Since that time, CJI, funded by the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), has provided technical assistance to implement the provisions of that legislation and worked with the Louisiana Women’s Incarceration Task Force to develop policies that improve women’s services in prisons and on community supervision.

CJI is supporting DPS&C in expanding core correctional practice training provided to staff through JRI to the entire department and community partners, as well as enhancing institutional programs by providing training to peer mentors and tutors. CJI is additionally assisting DPS&C in evaluating the impact of policies implemented through JRI.