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Embracing Second Chances

April 3, 2024

By Lukas D’Ambrosio Communications Office

(Lukas D’Ambrosio, Communications Office)

Second Chance Month, observed in the United States every April since 2017, serves as a poignant reminder of the transformative power of redemption and the importance of providing opportunities for individuals who have completed their sentences to reintegrate into society. In Washington State, this month holds special significance as the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) leads the charge in celebrating the journey of rehabilitation and reentry.

At the heart of Second Chance Month in Washington State lies a collective effort to recognize and address the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction. The focus extends beyond punishment to fostering a supportive environment where individuals can rebuild their lives and contribute positively to their communities. The Department of Corrections honors this mission by acknowledging the dedication of all staff involved in the reentry process, from prison personnel to those assisting with reentry and community corrections.

“Part of being successful is the ability to reintegrate into your community,” said Cheryl Strange, DOC Secretary. “To do that, you have to have the opportunity to practice those skills.”

Central to the Department's initiatives are reentry navigators who serve as invaluable guides, helping individuals navigate the myriad of services available to them. From educational programs encompassing GED, high school, and college courses offered through local institutions to vocational training facilitated by Correctional Industries, a wealth of opportunities awaits those seeking a second chance. The recent opening of a reentry center in Wenatchee, the first in 20 years, reflects Washington State's commitment to fostering a supportive environment rooted in principles of rehabilitation and reintegration.

As we commemorate Second Chance Month, let us reaffirm our dedication to unlocking opportunities and embracing the potential for positive change in the lives of those seeking redemption.