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Second Chance Month

Apr 1, 2022

WHEREAS, every person is endowed with human dignity and value. Those who have fallen should have the opportunity to become contributing members of our great nation; and

WHEREAS, reentering society after incarceration can be a daunting and difficult transition and presents significant barriers. These barriers can include difficulty in finding housing, meaningful employment, rebuilding relationships with family and friends, and fully integrating back into a community; and

WHEREAS, the barriers that negatively affect former inmates are referred to as Collateral Consequences. The Council of State Governments reports that the number of  collateral consequences of a criminal conviction exceeds 44,000, with 599 consequences specific to Alaska; and

WHEREAS, examples of collateral consequences in Alaska include the inability to serve in the Alaska State Legislature, work in childcare, be employed in the public safety arena, or to receive  specific occupational licenses; and

WHEREAS, recidivism is when a former inmate has reentered society and then reoffends despite knowing the consequences. According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics recidivism study from 2005-2014, five out of six state prisoners were arrested at least once within a span of nine years after their release and about four in nine were arrested at least once after just a year from release; and

WHEREAS, the Alaska Department of Corrections provides collaborative release planning including: individualized case management, programming, and positive family, community, and peer support services. By helping former inmates reenter society with valuable skill sets and available support networking, we increase public safety and reduce recidivism rates; and

WHEREAS, the State of Alaska is committed to a proactive reentry process that supports individuals transitioning out of incarceration.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim April 2022 as:

Second Chance Month

in Alaska, and encourage Alaskans to commend those who have successfully reentered society and to provide support and resources to former inmates in order to reduce recidivism, crime, and improve the safety of our communities.

Dated: April 1, 2022