Since 2017, NACDL, Prison Fellowship, and other national partners have recognized April as Second Chance Month, a time to raise awareness about the obstacles faced by over 70 million Americans with a criminal record and unlock opportunities for them to succeed. This Second Chance Month, NACDL is highlighting collateral consequences, including those related to employment, housing, education, and the right to vote. NACDL is also bringing attention to the need for second chance opportunities for those who are currently incarcerated. Individuals experiencing excessive, lengthy sentences deserve opportunities to gain a second chance at freedom.
Social Media Toolkit
Below are links to social media graphics and accompanying language related to restoration of rights for individuals with criminal records and second chances for those who are currently incarcerated. Make sure to tag NACDL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram when you share!
- Sample Social Media Language to Accompany Second Chance Month Graphics
H.R. 1924: The Kenneth Thompson Begin Again Act: Expungement is one of the most effective tools in the criminal legal system for restoring rights and status, yet existing federal law provides extremely limited expungement opportunities, even for low-level offenses. H.R. 1924 would expand expungement eligibility for individuals charged with simple drug possession by removing the requirement that such individuals were under 21 years old at the time of the offense in question.
S. 79: The EQUAL Act: For the past three and a half decades, the crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity has exacerbated and further entrenched racial disparities in the criminal legal system. S. 79 would end it once and for all.
Michigan Clean Slate Law Live Stream: In 2020, Michigan lawmakers passed expansive clean slate legislation, increasing expungement opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals. On April 11th, residents will become eligible to expunge up to three felonies and an unlimited number of misdemeanors, with exceptions for certain offenses. To kick-off upcoming clean slate clinics and commemorate this reform, The Black and Brown Cannabis Guild will host a live panel discussion on April 11th at 1:00pm ET. Panelists will address how eligible Michigan residents can take advantage of this reform to expunge their convictions and receive a meaningful second chance.
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Race + Criminal Legal System: Collateral Consequences - Part II (Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at 4pm ET): After an engaging discussion in Part I unpacking the specific harm that collateral consequences have caused to communities of color, we will now take a deep dive into how past criminal convictions can impact an individual’s ability to participate in certain industries, e.g. the legal profession, the cannabis industry, and other entrepreneurial opportunities. “Race + Collateral Consequences Part II” will feature an exciting group of panelists including Robert Patillo, Executive Director of the Rainbow PUSH Atlanta Peachtree Street Project (moderator); Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director of Drug Policy Alliance; Kevin Garrett, Fellow at the Texas Jail Project; and Tracey Syphax, Author and Entrepreneur, From the Block to the Boardroom, LLC. Discussion will be centered on how over policing, over incarceration, and the use of prior convictions to restrict economic opportunities among communities of color serves to prevent the accumulation of wealth and power, perpetuating the cycle of marginalization.
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- "Andrea James On Second Chances For Incarcerated Women,"
- "Can the ‘Wisdom of a Second Look’ Curb America’s Appetite for Harsh Sentences?,"
- "Criminal justice reform shouldn't leave anyone behind in Tennessee,"
- "Second Chance Month: A Federal Reintegration Agenda,"
- "Opinion: Why Texas should pass second chance legislation,"