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City proclaims April Second Chance and Reentry Month

The City of Shelbyville’s Department of Behavioral Health & Justice Equity has announced plans for Second Chance and Reentry Month activities in April.

Nationally, April is recognized as the month to highlight efforts and activities for residents who are reentering the community from justice involvement and incarceration, and those who are celebrating recovery from drugs, alcohol, or behavioral addictions.

On Tuesday at the city’s Board of Works and Public Safety, Shelbyville mayor Tom DeBaun read a proclamation announcing the inaugural Second Chance and Reentry Month in Shelbyville.

“We are committed to second chances from the earliest stages of the justice system, including diverting individuals from arrest and incarceration into treatment and programming, and providing job training and educational opportunities regardless of past criminal involvement or substance abuse,” stated DeBaun.

Behavioral Health & Justice Equity Director Michael Daniels will coordinate community activities to raise awareness and involve the community in changing hearts, minds and lives.

  • For the entire month of April, Behavioral Health & Justice Equity (BHJE) is partnering with the Shelby County Public Library, 57 W. Broadway St., which will have a special display section of books focusing on issues of criminal justice, incarceration, and recovery including compelling first-person narratives of people who have been caught up “in the life,” and have found their way out to success, stability, and sobriety.
  • On April 11 from 5 to 6 p.m., there will be an opening reception at City Hall, 44 W. Washington St., for an art installation titled “Judge Softly.” The installation will consist of two-and-a-half dozen pairs of shoes, decorated by women incarcerated in the Shelby County Jail, depicting their journeys through incarceration and addiction and their future walks through freedom and sobriety. BHJE is partnering with the Shelby Art Guild Association to produce this exhibit, which will remain on display through April 30.
  • On April 21 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., BHJE will partner with Three Sisters Books & Gifts, 7 Public Square, to present a lunchtime discussion regarding fair chance licensing policy, and the challenges that licensed individuals (barbers, beauticians, healthcare workers, real estate professionals, and others) face when dealing with license suspension, revocation, or reinstatement refusal due to a criminal conviction.
  • On April 28 from 1 to 4 p.m., BHJE will partner with WorkOne Central Indiana and the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce to host a Second Chance/Fair Chance Job Fair at the Chase Bank building, 49 Public Square. More than a dozen employers from across Shelby County will attend, ready to interview and hire individuals who may have prior criminal histories or who are in recovery from addictions.

All events are free and open to the public. Residents are encouraged to attend and experience a changed view of what it means to have a criminal or addiction history, and what the future can be with the elimination of stigma and bias.

For more information on these events, or on reentry or recovery efforts in Shelbyville, contact Daniels at 317-398-6624, extension 300 or mdaniels@cityofshelbyvillein.com.

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