July is Georgia Re-entry Awareness Month

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 11:15 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - For the 6th year, July marks Re-entry Awareness Month in Georgia. Many organizations highlight the challenges for people impacted by the criminal justice system or those just looking to start over.

New Life-Second Chance Outreach is a non-profit based in Georgia that helps people impacted by the criminal justice system get back on their feet. They provide workforce development, job placement, educational training and other supportive services with the goal of seeking positive re-entry into Georgia communities.

Staff say Re-entry Awareness Month is one way to shed light on issues that many people don’t understand about people who were incarcerated.

Staff told News Leader 9 everyone deserves a second chance.

“A lot of people don’t understand that once you have a record, it stays with you for life,” said New-Life Second Chance Founder Waleisah Wilson.

“People want to do good, but every time you turn around somebody’s denying you a job, you’re turned away from housing for something you did 20 years ago. When you go to prison, prison is supposed to be the punishment, once you get out of prison you should not continue to be punished for the rest of your life.”

We also spoke to a Columbus native Christopher Brown who says his past doesn’t define him. He says re-entry programs are important for the formerly incarcerated.

Brown said along with the will to succeed, everyone needs to extend grace.

“I’ve been through the whole IDC, the county, been up the road twice, we just need people who can be patient and understand we need love and guidance,” said Brown.

This month New Life - Second Chance Outreach will host several virtual opportunities to help those who need it. Like a free assistance event for identification birth certificates and bus passes.

There’s even an event that will explore and discuss the processes and requirements for obtaining a bank account and establishing credit.

For more information on New Life -Second Chance Outreach and all their events this month, you can visit their website.

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