News Release

Second Chance Center Receives Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award from Nation's Criminal Defense Bar

Washington, DC (Aug. 27, 2018) – On Friday, Aug. 24, 2018, the Second Chance Center (SCC) in Aurora, Colorado, was presented with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ (NACDL) Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award at NACDL's 17th Annual State Criminal Justice Network (SCJN) conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The award recognizes an individual or group whose tremendous efforts have led toward progressive reform of a state criminal justice system.

Hassan Latif, founder and executive director of the Second Chance Center, accepted the award on behalf of the organization. Since 2012, Second Chance Center has grown to become the preeminent reentry agency in Colorado, maintaining a recidivism rate under 9 % for participants involved in SCC programs. The organization helps reduce recidivism rates of formerly incarcerated people by aiding in their transition from incarceration to the outside world. SCC is staffed by experienced criminal justice advocates offering case management, mentoring, and providing client-centered services to help others remain free from incarceration traps and reestablish their lives in order to deal with the challenges of returning to their families and communities. In the same year he founded SCC. Mr. Latif also published his first book, Never Going Back: 7 Steps to Staying Out of Prison.

“The Second Chance Center seeks to reduce the recidivism rates of formerly incarcerated People through a multi-pronged approach designed to end multi-generational incarceration,” said NACDL Special Projects Consultant Angelyn Frazer-Giles, who organized NACDL’s SCJN conference. “The determination of the Second Chance Center to bring attention to and seek avenues to address the barriers that exist for those with a criminal record aligns with NACDL’s commitment to eliminate the collateral consequences of an arrest or conviction. As such, NACDL is honored to present the Second Chance Center with its Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award.”

Michael Iacopino, chair of NACDL’s State Legislative Affairs Committee, said: “I am very happy that we gave this award – the Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform – to the Second Chance Center of Aurora, Colorado and its executive director Hassan Latif. In the past this honor was bestowed on very deserving lawyers, lobbyists and legislators. This year it is a real pleasure to give the award to an organization that works for criminal justice reform both in the Colorado legislature and on the streets of Colorado. Every state needs organizations like the Second Chance Center making criminal justice reform a reality.”

Aside from his work at SCC, Mr. Latif conducts mentoring and reentry trainings for government and non-profit service providers across the country. He currently serves on the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition’s Board of Directors as its President as well as the Colorado Commission on Juvenile Justice Reentry Reform and Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems Task Forces. Most recently, in 2018, Mr. Latif received the Excellence in Leadership Award from the Colorado Association of Addiction Professionals.

To learn more about the Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award and to view past recipients, please follow this link.

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Ivan Dominguez, NACDL Director of Public Affairs and Communications, (202) 465-7662 or 

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.