PRESS CONFERENCE & PHOTO OP: 13 April 2016, 11am, Capitol Steps
NEWS RELEASE: Groups Rally for Re-entry & Prison Reform
“Right now … if you leave prison, you get $100 and a bus ticket,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said as he laid out his plans for the state prison system in February of 2015. “That is really not going to help reduce repeat offenders from going back in. They need an opportunity.”
On Wednesday, April 13, several dozen civic and social advocacy groups* and many members of the general public who are affected by these issues will rally on the front steps of the Capitol in a show of support for proposed reforms, such as the hiring of additional parole and probation officers, the creation of a transitional reentry center program and alternative (non-prison) sentences for nonviolent offenders.
Coordinated by the Central Arkansas Re-Entry (CARE) Coalition, the rally begins at 11am and features speakers from various agencies, organizations and groups which are somehow involved with the incarceration and reentry process.
“Because the impact of incarceration is so great on the individual, their families, and society as a whole, it takes an array of service providers, public policy experts, faith-based groups, community organizations, support services and mentors with lived experience to assist with transition to return to society and avoid the situations that lead to recidivism,” Robert Kim Combs, Chair of CARE’s Policy & Law Committee, explained the complexity of the problem. “No one entity can do it all and do it effectively. This rally is to celebrate the wealth of people and organizations that are helping and to tell the story of the 56% of people who successfully return without re-offending. Plus, we also want to acknowledge that many of these groups are working without government support.”
With respect to these collaborative efforts, an official Proclamation of the Governor, declaring April 13, 2016, as ARKANSAS COMMUNITY REENTRY DAY, will be presented and, concluding the presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to tour the Capitol, meet legislators and learn about their General Assembly.
For more information, visit www.ArkansasReentry.com or call (501) 444-CARE.
*partial list of advocacy groups supporting rally:
- Arkansans Organizing for Justice
- Arkansas Access to Justice
- Arkansas C.U.R.E
- Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice
- Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
- Arkansas Community Organizations
- Arkansas Department of Workforce Services
- Arkansas Re-entry and Prevention Initiative
- Arkansas Time After Time
- Arkansas Voices of the Child Left Behind
- Broken Chain Ministries
- Center for Artistic Revolution
- Center for Women in Transitions
- City Connections
- Difference Makers
- Disability Rights Arkansas
- Diverse Youth for Social Change
- I Too Have a Dream
- Incarcerated Disciples
- Interfaith Arkansas
- Little Rock Catholic Diocese
- Lucie’s Place
- Open Door Outreach
- Personal Empowerment Recovery Coalition Boone County Recovery Project
- Philander Smith College Better Community Developers, Inc.
- Recovery Centers of Arkansas
- SOAR Network
- The Arc
- Veterans for Peace – Arkansas Chapter #978
- Women and Children First
For more information contact Robert Combs (501) 563-2197.