Grapevine, TX – Yesterday, a panel of criminal justice experts and advocates met in Dallas for a discussion hosted by Safe Streets & Second Chances, an initiative focused on reducing recidivism.
The conversation featured criminal justice reform advocates Sean Pica, Lamont Carey, Mark Holden, and Carrie Pettus-Davis, two formerly incarcerated individuals who now work as catalysts for change in their own communities.
Koch Industries Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mark Holden said the following during yesterday’s panel:
“If you look at our system we obviously require people who break the law and are incarcerated to pay their debt to society. The problem is we never forgive the debt by and large. Instead of having ladders to success or on ramps to opportunity, our system creates these huge barriers to opportunity to returning citizens… The tolls of incarcerations are extensive and far reaching limiting opportunities for employment, housing and even the dream of what is possible… We try to remember that each of us are more than the worst thing we’ve ever done and none of us should be judged forever by what we did on our worst day and in our darkest hours.”
Florida State University Professor Dr. Carrie Pettus-Davis added the following:
“It is really important that while people are incarcerated, to do everything you can to give them hope, to give them opportunities for success, to help build them up. But we can’t, and we shouldn’t, and it is wrong to rely on incarceration to be that place where we give people their first opportunity… What’s critically important to people’s success and reaching their full potential is hope, and reentry plans start to generate a focus on hope.”
If you are interested in speaking to a representative from Safe Streets & Second Chances, contact S3Cpress@inpursuitof.com.
The panel was held at a summit hosted by Stand Together, a group focusing on community-based approaches to solving our country’s toughest problems. The event featured advocates from over 40 non-profit organizations from across the country.