MEDIA RELEASE: NC Second Chance Alliance Applauds Governor's Creation of StreetSafe Ex-Offender Task Force

NC Second Chance Alliance Applauds Governor's Creation of StreetSafe Ex-Offender Task Force
Task Force signifies strong commitment to addressing barriers facing ex-offenders and persons with criminal records
 
RALEIGH (May 11, 2009) -- The NC Second Chance Alliance - a coalition of advocacy organizations, service providers, faith-based organizations, community leaders and interested citizens - commends Governor Perdue for establishing a new task force to examine barriers and recommend policy solutions for those coming out of the prison system.

Governor Perdue announced the formation of the StreetSafe Task Force to Reduce Repeat Offenders late last week.  The initiative will bring together a diverse set of partners, including faith-based organizations, non-profits, local and state government agencies, and business leaders to develop a plan to reduce recidivism and reintegrate offenders back into their communities.

"Amidst a budget shortfall that raises questions about how our state spends its dollars most effectively, the creation of the StreetSafe Task Force couldn't come at a better time," said Bill Rowe, General Counsel at the NC Justice Center and one of the founders of the NC Second Chance Alliance. "When it costs approximately $80,000 to construct just one new prison bed, we need to think more creatively of ways to stem our prison population growth and focus on reintegrating ex-offenders back into their communities."

"Our current system of incarceration and re-incarceration is simply not working," said Dennis Gaddy, Executive Director of the Community Success Initiative in Raleigh, which provides transitional services .  "It's putting our public safety at risk, draining our state's resources, and failing those who have paid their debts to society."

The NC Second Chance Alliance was formed earlier this year to call upon state and local elected officials to create a comprehensive plan for examining and addressing the significant barriers facing those coming out of the prison system, including housing, employment, and discrimination.  The coalition has over 70 organization members and individuals from across the state. 

More information on the NC Second Chance Alliance can be found at http://www.ncjustice.org/?q=node/62.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Jeff Shaw, communications director, NC Justice Center, 919.863.2402 (office), 503.551.3615 (mobile); Bill Rowe, General Counsel, NC Justice Center, 919.856.2177; and Dennis Gaddy, Community Success Initiative, 919.834.7626 ext. 11.