Reentry Means a Second Chance

A young handsome man sitting alone by steps and contemplating life by the quiet sea, surrounded by raw concrete sea defence wall. Mental health and depression road to recovery.

The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners proclaimed April as Reentry Month in the County. The North Carolina Department of Adult Correction is holding a state-wide Reentry conference this week in Charlotte, attended by some 400 industry professionals. April is a month to recognize the work it takes for a formerly incarcerated person to transition back into the community. 

“Reentry is tough, but Mecklenburg County is committed to supporting the justice-involved population,” said Sonya L. Harper, Criminal Justice Services director. “They deserve a chance to begin again with support for housing, employment, and healthcare. We can all play a role in supporting these folks.” 

Mecklenburg County receives approximately 1,200 residents returning from state and 300 from federal incarcerations each year and more than 4,900 people are under state correctional supervision at any given time. Data shows the tough road ahead for justice-involved persons as they are 10 times more likely to experience homelessness, the unemployment rate is five times higher, 30-40% suffer from chronic disease including diabetes, hypertension, and kidney problems, up to 20% suffer from mental illness and 50% suffer from substance use disorder.  

April is also known as Second Chance Month in North Carolina.