April 2019: Second Chance Month

WHEREAS, every person is endowed with human dignity and value; and,

WHEREAS, redemption and second chances are American values; and,

WHEREAS, an estimated 65 million Americans have a criminal record; and,

WHEREAS, individuals returning from prison and those who have paid their debt after committing a crime face significant barriers, also known as collateral consequences; and,

WHEREAS, individuals with a criminal history face significant barriers, such as the inability to find housing, employment or education, volunteer in their community, and pay for significant debt that arises as a result of their conviction and incarceration; and,

WHEREAS, the Council of State Governments reports that the number of legal collateral consequences of a criminal conviction exceeds 48,000; and,

WHEREAS, these barriers can contribute to recidivism, which increases victimization and decreases public safety. This can also result in lost human capital and lost economic output for the United States; and,

WHEREAS, the designation of April as Second Chance Month would contribute to increased public awareness about these issues, the need for closure for those who have paid their debt, and opportunities for individuals, employers, congregations, and communities to extend second chances;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 2019 as Second Chance Month in Michigan.