Alisha James, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Aventiv Technologies’ Post-Incarceration team, issued the following statement about the Biden-Harris administration’s plan to expand Second Chance opportunities:
“The journey to successful reentry has to begin the day a person enters the criminal justice system. Aventiv Technologies believes it’s essential for the federal government to have a holistic approach, connecting the dots between interactive job training, expanded federal loan programs, more inclusive housing benefits, a special enrollment period for Medicare, investment in digital literacy, and established best-practices for employers.
Making second chances meaningful requires partnerships at every level of government, and we are especially encouraged by the administration’s plans to work with the National Reentry Resource Center to strengthen community efforts for reentry and to add 73 schools to the Second Chance Pell Initiative. Affordable, accessible technology is essential to empower and equip incarcerated individuals with the education and skills to succeed, as it is throughout the rest of society. In the last year, we have deployed over 425,000 tablets and invested in technology to expand our educational offerings, we have built new partnerships with colleges, organizations, and the private sector to offer new programs and course prior to release, and we have created an independent advisory board led by a number of formerly incarcerated Americans whose lived experience helps accelerate solutions. We believe everyone working behind the walls has a responsibility to work outside them as well. Banning the box in hiring is a difference businesses can make, and since we transformed our hiring practices, we’ve been able to make more than six percent of our new workforce hires as second chance hires. But there’s more for everyone to do and it’s best that we do it together. All of it makes a difference, and we are pleased by federal focus on an issue which we must work on together.”