September 20th FEARLESS Meeting Minutes

 

NEW BUSINESS…

  • Several members attended a Community Town Hall on Criminal Justice Reform. This is a great opportunity to make people who committed sex offenses a part of the conversation.  We encourage everyone to attend one.  For more information please contact us and go to aztownhall.org.
  • We have completed an educational brochure sharing the story of Shawn’s, and his wife Elaina’s, life on the registry. We will be sharing them with our legislators and community leaders.
  • You soon will be receiving a Fundraising Letter. We have a lot of great projects in the works and funds are needed for the growth of our organization.  For example,
    • Printing the brochure (thanks to the generous donation of time from a member we avoided $2,500 in layout and design costs).
    • Pat and Stephen would like to attend the Statewide Town Hall on Criminal Justice Reform which costs $510 per person.
    • We are making a video to highlight the collateral consequences of life on the registry for all involved. Thanks to generous support, the filming was completed with minimal cost.  We still need funds for editing and distribution.
  • We have shown our Education PowerPoint to Therapists, Probation, AZ Supreme Court
    • Coming soon we are hoping to meet with Probation Chiefs from each county to share Education Video, information about Fearless and discuss Sex Offender Terms of Probation.
    • If you’d like to recommend a group for us to meet with contact Carol Ann at rsol.education@gmail.com.
  • We met with the Committee on Juvenile Courts where we had the opportunity to share several of our stories. And, they have invited us back for future meetings.
  • On Tuesday September 25th at 6pm we will be taking the Fearless Meeting to the inmates at South Unit.
  • Our plan for the 2019 Legislative Session is to make improvements to the laws which permit juveniles to petition to get off of the registry and/or lifetime probation. If you haven’t already done so, please register with the Request to Speak program and contact your legislators.  Let us know if you need help with this.

 

GUEST SPEAKER…

Sue Ellen Allen founder of Reinventing Reentry was our guest speaker and she shared with us her experiences in prison and talked about her organization.  She started the program to help former inmates reintegrate into society when they are released from prison and help them with employment, housing, education, and entrepreneurial opportunities.  She talked about the cost of incarceration — about $25,000 per inmate per year — and how a 3 1/2-year sentence costs the state $87,500.  This figure doesn’t include the judge, attorney, probation, and parole costs.

There is a 60% recidivism rate showing that prisons currently don’t do much for rehabilitation.  However, there is some help for employment after prison such as The Work Opportunity Tax Credit and Fidelity Bonds issued by the Federal Bonding Program.  The Second Chance Playbook, through Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation, hires 1/3 of their workforce with criminal backgrounds.  (More details below).  And, the First Step Act for positive changes in the Federal prison system.   (More details below).

Sue Ellen also has developed a simulation class that teaches people how difficult it is to navigate the world after prison.  If you want to learn more about this program, please click on the link for more details:

http://www.reinventingreentry.org/reentry-simulation.html

https://www.dkbfoundation.org/second-chance-playbook/

https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/401292-first-step-act-is-smart-legislation-perfect-for-prison-reform

 

NEXT MONTH…

  • Our next meeting will be on Thursday October 18. Our guest speakers will be from the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office (Please note: they cannot discuss any individual cases).
  • In New Business we will discuss setting up the following committees and committee leaders: Fearless, Education, Fund Raising, Marketing/Social Media, Legislative. Please think about your interest. We will also be planning our Thanksgiving Pot Luck Meeting.
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