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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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AL nonprofit urges Medicaid expansion to save rural hospitals; Harris skipping Netanyahu address shows daylight with Biden on Israeli leader; Biden to give first speech since dropping out of race; IN students face stricter attendance rules, new reading requirements; New Missouri law ensures medication access.

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Kamala Harris builds momentum toward nomination and vets potential Veeps. She and Trump take aggressive stances, as plans for a September debate continue. Sen. Bob Menendez says he'll resign, but will also appeal his corruption conviction.

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There's a gap between how rural and urban folks feel about the economy, Colorado's 'Rural is Rad' aims to connect outdoor businesses, more than a dozen of Maine's infrastructure sites face repeated flooding, and chocolate chip cookies rock August.

Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC

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Friday, June 21, 2024   

North Carolina aims to reduce recidivism by 2030, but Prison Fellowship warns that state-level barriers to critical needs may hinder their progress.

Every year, thousands of men and women are released from state prisons and jails. However, despite repaying their debt to society, they encounter roadblocks that hinder their successful reintegration. Experts say these so-called "collateral consequences" affect their access to housing, education and more.

Kate Trammell, Prison Fellowship's vice president for legal and advocacy, stressed the need to address these obstacles.

"One of the first things that policymakers or voters should be thinking about, about their neighbors with a criminal record, is how can we help ensure that they aren't prevented from accessing safe, affordable housing," she said. "A second thing is, how can we ensure that they aren't prevented from accessing meaningful jobs."

Trammell said these barriers exist on local, state and federal levels, and their wide reach even restricts access to assistance programs such as SNAP. In North Carolina alone, the report estimated there are 965 barriers impeding an individual's journey toward a second chance.

About 37% of state-level obstacles are related to job licensing and can play a role in keeping people from finding jobs with advancement potential. Trammell said stable employment can help keep people from reoffending and make communities safer.

"Having a job is one of the most significant deterrents for involvement in future crime," she said, "yet the unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated people is nearly five times that of the general public."

The state is working to improve its re-entry rate. Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order to increase access to health resources, education and job training.


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