In case you didn't see it in the news, ~2,200 people returned home from federal prison this past weekend! As a formerly incarcerated person who worked on the frontlines to pass the First Step Act, I just can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this moment – and I wanted to make sure you witnessed it too.
It's only been seven months since we passed the First Step Act back in December, and 3,500 people have returned home from federal prison to date under this legislation – and the year's not even over yet. All I can say is, WOW.
This past weekend, I reflected on my own reentry into society after serving 14 years in federal prison. Those first few days after my release were some of my happiest, but also some of my hardest. I was fortunate enough to have a family and support system ready to catch me after my release, but not everyone is so lucky. That's why it's crucial for us to step up for our returning neighbors during this pivotal time in their reentry and ensure that they have the resources they need to succeed.
As for me and the #cut50 team, we've partnered with Root & Rebound to produce and print 10,000 copies of the First Step to Second Chances guide, a 165 page resource for individuals returning home from federal prison. We've teamed up with partners across the public and private sectors to ensure that our returning neighbors are equipped with tools they need to help them succeed such as ride share credits from Lyft, over 1,000 hours of free online therapy through TalkSpace, and resume and job application assistance through HR firms across the country.
Now, we're dedicating all our time to making sure these resources get into the hands of those who need them most. As we work to deliver these copies of the First Step to Second Chances guide and other resources to our community members returning home from federal prison, will you help by making a one-time donation to fuel our efforts? <[link removed]> A generous ally dedicated to criminal justice reform will be matching all donations made in the month of July, so any contribution (however small) you can make today will be matched dollar-to-dollar.
I can not put to words my appreciation for you joining me and our returning community members on our journey back into society.
#cut50's name came from one ambitious goal: cut our nation's incarcerated population in half. Well, I'm proud to announce that we are well on our way to that goal; This weekend alone, more than 2,200 incarcerated people returned to their families and communities thanks to the First Step Act.
Since the First Step Act was signed into law last December, over 3,500 people have walked out of prison and reentered society. As more and more of our formerly incarcerated neighbors return home, we now have a new task before us: ensuring that our neighbors have the tools, support, and resources they need to find their place in our communities.
For someone coming home after a lengthy period of incarceration, the first few days and weeks can be daunting. But those moments are the critical point in a person’s successful reentry journey. That’s why #cut50 is stepping up to ensure that we welcome our incarcerated neighbors home with the resources and support they need to start their new lives successfully.You can help us make this reentry a success by making a donation today that will be matched by a generous donor dedicated to criminal justice reform. <[link removed]>
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Over the past few years, #cut50 has partnered with unlikely allies, advocates, and lawmakers across the political spectrum to pass the First Step Act. Our efforts led to the release of over 3,000 people from federal prison. So now, we're expanding our network of partners to include businesses and organizations ready and willing to offer fair chances to those returning community members.
From free Lyft ride credits for getting to job interviews to hundreds of hours of resume writing support or peer coaching, we are working around the clock to make sure our formerly incarcerated neighbors have the tools they need to successfully reenter society. We've secured more than 1,000 hours of free counseling and therapy sessions, pro bono services from dedicated members of our Empathy Network, and free online educational courses through Coursera.
We even teamed up with Root & Rebound and The Margaret and Daniel Loeb Foundation to create and distribute 10,000 copies of First Step to Second Chances, a printed guide to help individuals navigate their first moments of freedom. From knowing their rights to accessing local services, the guide will serve as a critical point of support for thousands of men and women. And this weekend, it’s being printed and shipped across the country to hundreds of partners. Can you pitch in to help us get this guide into the hands of all 2,200 of our returning community members? <[link removed]>
We know that with the right support, people coming home from prison will live successful lives, staying free of crime and supporting themselves, their families, and their communities.
We’re excited that so many people are returning home to their communities this weekend, but we need your support to make their reentry a success. <[link removed]>
With your help, we can keep this momentum going strong as more and more formerly incarcerated people reenter society and embark on the next chapter of their lives.
We can't do this work without your continued support. Please contribute today to help us make sure our returning neighbors are #ReentryReady. <[link removed]>
Thank you for everything you do,
National Director, #cut50
Ps. If you donate today, what you contribute will be matched by one of our generous donors committed to bringing even more of our neighbors home from federal prison. You can take advantage of this opportunity to boost our efforts to cut our country’s incarcerated population in half by making a one time donation today <[link removed]>.
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