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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

A new hotline connects formerly incarcerated people with re-entry services in NC

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Thursday, May 9, 2024   

A North Carolina group hopes to help people stay out of prison by connecting them to critical resources.

Recidivism Reduction Educational Programs Services is launching a new hotline to help formerly incarcerated people with re-entry services.

Kerwin Pittman, the organization's founder, said he found it tough getting connected to the right people as a returning citizen nearly seven years ago and in 2024, he said the issue still exists.

"What we realized that across North Carolina, the connectivity wasn't happening at all," Pittman pointed out. "You would have people returning, citizens, family members, those who wanted to get help for these individuals trying to reach out for services and needed services but just couldn't find them."

The hotline connects callers to real people who essentially create a bridge directly to services in the community. Pittman noted since its launch last Monday, more than 100 people have used the call center to get connected to housing and jobs. To contact the center, call 1-888-852-0004.

In North Carolina, 44% of people are re-arrested within two years of being released from state prisons. Pittman acknowledged it can be challenging to have a successful transition when you don't know where to start and emphasized one small resource can be the key to getting on track.

"You'd be surprised how many individuals come home and don't just have simple identification," Pittman emphasized. "And we know without identification, you can't receive benefits that you may be eligible for, you can't receive a job, you can't receive housing. And so everything kind of plays into each other."

In addition to closing gaps and getting people to services, Pittman said he hopes it inspires others to find innovative ways to make connection easier for people affected by the justice system. Earlier this year at the state level, Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 303 to improve re-entry.


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