Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Austin roundtable developing vision for prisoner reentry

Via email, on Thursday evening, Austin's Reentry Roundtable will host:
A Forum to Listen to Community Voices: Reintegrating People with Criminal Histories
  • How do we promote successful reentry of former offenders to advance public safety?
  • What can our community do to promote the successful reintegration of people with criminal histories?
  • How can we inform our community about reentry?
This is a very important policy meeting.

The goal of this forum is to assist the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable in setting the 2 year vision and goals that will shape the policies, procedures, and community attitudes to create an improved environment for reentry.

This meeting will also set the groups priorities and goals for the 82nd Legislature's consideration.

Thursday, May 20
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Austin Travis County Integral Care, Large Training Room
1700 Collier Street
(Across from ATCIC's Administration Building )
Austin , TX 78704

Register here.


charles said...

If, and I repeat, if, these people are truly committed, truly concerned about an ex-offender's reentry, then they should seriously consider an "Amnesty" program. Yes, Amnesty. Giving ex-offenders clean criminal records, or just cealing their criminal back ground from everyone but police. A clean criminal record opens up a multitude of opportunities for the ex-offender that he/she can seek out for themslves instead of having to rely on some third party organization/group try and convince a public that is hositle toward the ex-offender anyway, to give them jobs, housing, etc., Some employers will give an ex-offender a job; but the majority will not. Some real estate/apartments will rent to an ex-offender; but the majority will not. Their excuse is "liability". However, if an ex-offender had a clean criminal record he/she would not have that targeted discrimination, that has malice and forethought, to worry about: just regular market forces which affects everybody. Amnesty I believe should be seriously considered and not rejected out of hand. But thats if, and I repeat, if, you are serious about an ex-offender's "successful" reentry back into society. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

Charles, thank you for the statement. I have told both Rep. Jerry Madden this as well as Senator Whitmire. Thus far nothing has been done.

I encourage everyone to make your voices heard. Jesus Christ gave us a second chance, so why does Texas not give those who have made a mistake, a second chance. Remove all Deferred Ajudications from the records,these are not convictions anyway also, that mistake has already been paid and stop penalizing those who wish to have a life and happiness in Texas a chance?

Again, thank you Charles.

Anonymous said...

Well its about time someone said what I have been thinking for quite a while. I just didn't call it Amnesty--a term from the old wild west days. but that is a very, very good idea. If you give a man a clean criminal record, let him successfully re-intergrate back into society, i.e., family, job, home, etc., you can effectively take that person out of the criminal game because he now has alot to lose--his job his family his home. Most criminals out there are just the opposite, they have nothing to lose--no job no family no home, so crime comes easy for them--they embrace crime as a way out. I would be willing to bet 5 to 1 odds that if you give an ex-offender a clean criminal record, or Amnesty, as this Charles fellow says, that he will be finished with crime altogether and maybe even start to make a contribution to his community in some fashion. Yes, Amnesty is a very, very good idea. Thank you Charles.

Anonymous said...

Amnesty for ex-cons? It's a bad idea. Besides, what politician in Texas has the kind of guts to propose such an idea. I mean, does anyone really want to see an ex-con on his feet doing the right thing, taking care of his family, his children, working an honest job every day, paying his taxes instead of eating up taxes in a jail cell and havin the state take care of his children with our tax dollars? Seriously, do you actually think that people want to lower their taxes by not financing more prison beds and put that same money into building better schools for our childern, better roads for our cars, more parks to relax in? I don't think so. Amnesty would do nothing but allow an ex-con to work an honest job every day instead of breaking into my house while I'm the one at work, steal my car or rob my business. Why would anyone want to see an ex-con take care of his own childern, pay his share of taxes, or make any kind of contribution to society? Amnesty for ex-cons is a stupid idea.

Unknown said...

I know this is an old thread, but this idea would have helped me. I was released in June 2010. It's not January 2011. I've had 6 job interviews in that time. 3 job offers. All 3 were rescinded AFTER the background check, even though prior to the offer of employment I had been up front about my conviction. I have no problem with law enforcement being able to see my record, but the simple fact is that I have yet to come across anyone in a position to offer me a job be willing to give someone like me a chance to prove myself. And at this point, I'd probably be the best employee you'd ever had for that simple fact. There are no second chances at this point. If I wasn't married with a home to come back to, I'd be living on the streets right now. With 1 in 22 people in the state of Texas under some form of supervision, we have become a third class citizen. At this point, why send us to jail? Just having the ability to view or record and keep us from being employed is punishment AFTER the fact.