The Second Chance Alliance held its 3rd Biennial Second Chance Lobby Day at the North Carolina General Assembly on Tuesday. More than 200 North Carolinians gathered to share their stories with lawmakers and lobby in support of policies that help people reenter their communities after incarceration.
The Lobby Day kicked off with an assembly featuring law makers and formerly incarcerated North Carolinians. Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice Commissioner David Guice gave the keynote address, and spoke strongly in favor of policies that help people trying to reenter society and maintain productive lives. Umar Mohammed, a community organizer from Durham, shared his personal story about coming out of incarceration as a youth to find that employers were unwilling to hire him due to his record:
“This is not just my story. I have a whole community with the same story. Luckily I came home and was able to find support and mentors. We’re capable and able to do the work. These barriers have to come down. We want to ban the box.”
Lobby Day participants met with their legislators to express their support for a broad policy agenda, including several bills currently under consideration in the legislature:
- Adequate funding for community-based reentry service systems;
- Reasonable waiting periods for expunction of non-violent crimes;
- Expanded access to certificates of relief;
- Fair use of criminal records for jobseekers;
- Raising the age for adult prosecution of misdemeanors to 18.
Click here to learn more about the Second Chance Alliance and past reentry legislation.