Returning Citizens face complex health, education, housing, employment and basic living needs. Without intervention, the likelihood of returning to incarceration is high. The human cost of recidivism is alarming; ripple effect of more crime, victimization, loss of productivity, exacerbated poverty, etc.
The challenge is to mobilize assistance from the Greater Kansas City community to enhance the successful reintegration back into the community and workforce by former offenders.
The Second Chance Risk Reduction Center was launched in August 2010 as a result of the Second Chance Act of 2008. Seeking to address the issue of mass incarceration, Second Chance works tirelessly to end the cycle of poverty, crime and corrections. Some things to consider:
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the incarceration rate among American adults is at an all time high of approximately 2.3 million individuals.
- Upwards of 95% of those individuals will be released at some point in time.
- An estimated 4.8 million are currently on probation or parole supervision.
- The national recidivism rate is around 50%.
- The Kansas City Metro area receives about 4,000 releases annually from Missouri, Kansas and Federal Correctional Facilities.
Second Chance seeks funding support primarily through federal, state and local discretionary/demonstration grants. Foundation awards and private contributions are also welcome. The projected FY 2016-2017 budget is $400,000.00. This funding permits annual reentry assistance to 200-250 high-risk clients returning to the Kansas City area from state correctional facilities. Additionally, hundreds of other persons are provided with post-prison, transitional information and access to community resources.
“We call them clients. We call them returning citizens. We call them former offenders. But they’re people. And just like all of us, they have their hopes, aspirations, dreams, and they want to be reconciled with their families. They want to have a successful life. And they want a Second Chance.”
— Retired Second Chance Executive Director, Ron Smith