Providing returning citizens with a second chance benefits not just individuals but entire communities
FALLS CHURCH, VA / ACCESSWIRE / April 8, 2021 / GTL, a trusted partner that connects those affected by incarceration with the resources and support necessary to achieve success, today announced its recognition of Second Chance Month, which is a nationwide effort during the month of April to raise awareness about the obstacles faced by adults with a criminal record. Prison Fellowship began Second Chance Month in 2017, and GTL supports their efforts as an official partner.
There are many statistics that tell the story of returning citizens and second chances.
- 33% of American adults have a criminal record.
- 95% of incarcerated individuals will be released from a correctional facility and return to society.
- 76% of released individuals will be reincarcerated within five years if they are not given access to basic resources, such as housing, education, and employment.
GTL recognizes the cycle of incarceration that keeps individuals from realizing their full potential. For that reason, the company continues to expand its focus on reentry and second chances not only with new partnerships and new content but with new team members. Nena Staley was recently hired as GTL's Director of Reentry after previously serving as the Deputy Director - Office of Programs, Reentry and Rehabilitative Services at South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC).
"Reentry begins at entry-placing the tools needed for successful reentry in the hands of an incarcerated individual is priceless," said Ms. Staley. "GTL is changing the narrative. By getting involved both inside and outside, they are not just showing justice-involved individuals what is possible, they have opened up opportunities for them and their family and friends. GTL walks the talk, which lets me know I have landed in the right place."
Partnering with organizations that help returning citizens access the resources they need has allowed GTL to become even more dedicated to Second Chance Month and all that it represents. Here a few of the partnerships and resources that have made a difference over the past year:
- GTL partners with the Ladies of Hope Ministries (LOHM) to get disenfranchised and marginalized women access to high-quality education, housing, and more.
- Through a partnership with EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute, GTL provides free access to an introductory curriculum focused on culinary arts and hospitality. The curriculum on GTL tablets then segues into a full training program at EDWINS upon release.
- GTL includes the Brian Hamilton Foundation's Starter U course, an online entrepreneurship course, on its tablets at no cost to incarcerated individuals to help them learn how to start their own businesses.
- Returning Citizens Magazine is available for incarcerated individuals to read at no cost on GTL tablets, allowing them to gain knowledge about how to successfully transition back into society.
- To assist incarcerated individuals in improving their mental and emotional health, GTL partnered with Hayes Art Therapy to offer an Art Therapy app on GTL tablets that individuals can access at no cost.
- A list of Resources helps connect formerly incarcerated people to information they need on housing, employment, life skills, health, legal assistance, and more.
- GTL's free weekly communication program allows incarcerated individuals to connect with their loved ones on a regular basis without worrying about cost.
Last year, GTL committed to the Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM's) Getting Talent Back to Work pledge to consider all qualified candidates, including those with criminal records, for open positions. As a 2021 Top Workplaces USA Award winner, GTL offers a forward-thinking environment, including holding company-wide town halls discussing Second Chance Month, for individuals wanting to make a difference.
"The partnerships that we enter into, the resources that we provide, the people that we hire-all of this is done to assist incarcerated individuals, returning citizens, and family and friends," concluded Ms. Staley. "By doing so, we are helping returning citizens make the most of their second chance."
For over 30 years, GTL has worked side-by-side with correctional facilities and government agencies to provide imperative technology solutions to over 1.2 million incarcerated individuals across the globe. These solutions facilitate meaningful connections, provide educational opportunities, enable successful reentry, and strengthen operational efficiency. GTL is headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, with an employee presence throughout North America and was recognized as a 2021 Top Workplace USA by Energage. To learn more about GTL, please visit www.gtl.net, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.