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RALEIGH: During remarks at the Pitt County Reentry Job and Resource Fair, Governor Roy Cooper announced April 22-26, 2018 is Reentry Week in North Carolina. Reentry Week highlights ongoing efforts to help formerly incarcerated North Carolinians successfully return to their communities and careers.

“North Carolinians who have paid their debt to society deserve the opportunity to live productive lives, but there are barriers to success,” Gov. Cooper said. “Reentry programs help protect public safety, break the cycle of incarceration and strengthen our workforce.”

Reentry Week is an opportunity for North Carolina’s 14 local reentry councils and other stakeholders to highlight reentry efforts taking place across the state.

To date, North Carolina has turned 12 state minimum custody prisons into reentry facilitiesthat provide resources to help incarcerated people return to their communities. Last month, over 500 people attended the first North Carolina Reentry Summit in Greensboro, which brought together members of community and faith-based organizations with reentry experts to expand their knowledge of the needs and obstacles faced by people returning home from prison. In addition, local reentry councils, private employers and local governments are working together to connect formerly incarcerated North Carolinians with affordable housing, transportation and employment opportunities.

“We are working diligently to reduce the barriers formerly incarcerated people will have to a successful return to the workforce and community,” said Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks, who also chairs the State Reentry Council Collaborative. “We are not only providing information on housing and employment but supplying people in our facilities with the tools to return to their families. This will help in creating stronger communities and fewer returns to prison.”

In 2017, the legislature created the State Reentry Council Collaborative (SRCC), which includes representatives from state agencies, the community college system, the judicial branch and community and faith-based organizations. The SRCC has developedrecommendations on how to reduce barriers and help people leaving prison find resources.

With thousands of jobs available across the state, reentry efforts can also help employers fill roles and keep our economy strong. Ensuring North Carolinians, including formerly incarcerated people, have the training and skills they need to succeed in good-paying jobs is a key priority of NC Job Ready, Gov. Cooper’s initiative to grow and strengthen our workforce.

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