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Reentry Week takes place during April, which is officially recognized as Second Chance Month.

During Reentry Week each year, Central Ohio organizations, returning citizens, and reentry professionals come together to host a diverse set of community events that celebrate returning citizens, and unpack the intricacies of the justice system as we know it.

We hope that you join us in this celebration as we support our friends, family, and community members who have been incarcerated.

Community Pop-Up Schedule

There will be a Community Pop-Up on May 24, June 4, and June 25. Locations and times listed below. Individuals can get FREE birth certificates and ID vouchers. Also available:

  • Government funded phones
  • Primary One/Medicaid
  • Medical & COVID appointments
  • Food pantry (fresh produce, canned goods, etc)
  • Education & Employment Connections
  • Public assistance Benefits

Locations

Tuesday, May 24 | 12:30pm – 3:30pm

Community Based Correctional Facility Residents Only


Saturday, June 4 | 11am – 1pm

West Side Free Store 261 South Powell, Columbus Ohio


Saturday, June 25 | 10am – 1pm

Hedge Around You Outreach Ministries 480 Lillie Ave, Columbus Ohio

Reentry Week Schedule

April 24th – April 30th

April 23, Saturday

Coffee Social |  10:30am | Location Crimson Cup Coffee- 700 Alum Creek Dr Columbus Ohio 43205

The Phoenix is a national non-profit organization serving individuals in recovery from substance use and their supporters. Our mission is to build a sober, active community that fuels resilience and harnesses the transformational power of connection. We provide meaningful activities for all ability levels, from group fitness and yoga to book club and meditation; the only cost of attendance is 48 hours of continuous sobriety.

On Saturday, April 23rd at 10:30am please join us at Crimson Cup Coffee to learn all about coffee, hangout, and socialize. Bring your friends, family members, or sponsors.

In order to register, please use 43205 as the location and navigate to April 23 to see the event.


April 24, Sunday

Second Chance Sunday Service | Time TBD

Hosted and presented by Religious Services in collaboration with the Office of Reentry.


April 25, Monday

What Reentry Means to Me? | 9am

Introduction by the Reentry Coordinator and an overview of ODRC’s Reentry Week.

Meanings of Work and Criminal Involvement in the Lives of the Formerly Incarcerated | 12pm 1pm

Presented by Paul Bellair, Director, Criminal Justice Research Center at The Ohio State University 

What role does employment play in the desistance of crime of formerly incarcerated individuals?  What meaning and connections do they ascribe to work and identity?  We know remarkably little about the employment experiences of formerly incarcerated individuals.  A study of 25 formerly incarcerated men could shed light on the meaning of work and criminal involvement.  Join Professor Paul Bellair – Director, Criminal Justice Research Center at The Ohio State University – and associates for a preliminary analysis.


April 26, Tuesday

Excellence Within the Walls | 9am | Live Streamed

Hosted by North Reentry Region with reentry program presentations by Ohio institutions.

Creating a Foundation for Grant Partnership | 12pm – 1pm

Presented by Caitlin Looney, Grants Coordinator for the Franklin County Office of Justice Policy and Programs

What makes a great grant partner? Whether your organization is applying to be a direct recipient of grant funding or searching for subaward/contracting opportunities, there are key things you can do now to build a foundation for grant partnership. This session will offer insight into common grantor expectations for grant administration, concrete strategies to meet those expectations, and no-cost and low cost examples of tools to ensure efficient application of strategies.   

Apart: 3 moms, 4 kids, 18 years in prison | 5:30pm – 8pm | Columbus State – Mitchell Hall Event Center & Live Streamed

The documentary Apart follows three unforgettable mothers incarcerated in Ohio — Tomika, Lydia, and Amanda — as they prepare to return home from prison and work to rebuild their lives after being separated from their children for years. Their stories overlap at Chopping for Change, a workforce development program run by Malika Kidd, an advocate who was formerly incarcerated in the same prison. 

Join us for a screening of the documentary complete with food & refreshments, as well as a discussion hosted by Representative Latyna Humphrey afterward. We will also be joined by one of the women from the film to discuss her experience.

Returning Strong: Virtual Rally for Reentry Cash Assistance | 6pm- 8pm | Online

The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) presents a virtual evening of advocacy, storytelling and action wherever you are. People returning from prison receive a small amount of cash, sometimes as little as $10. However, states like California are considering increasing the amount of money given to those leaving prison. And we are calling for broader action on reentry cash assistance for returning citizens.

This national rally is about the power of cash assistance to change reentry. You will hear from returning citizens, including those impacted by CEO’s Returning Citizens Stimulus (RCS), and learn how cash assistance enabled them to overcome common reentry challenges. And you’ll get an opportunity to take immediate action to support positive changes to reentry.

During this event, we will:

  • Meet the change agents who are transforming reentry.
  • Hear from partners and allies at For the People, Second Chance Center, Just Income GNV and many more.
  • Discuss ways to take action on important legislation, including California’s SB 1304 “gate money” bill sponsored by Sen. Sydney Kamlager.

April 27, Wednesday

Two-Part Event*

Prison Reentry in the 21st Century: Critical Perspective of Returning Home | 11am – 12:30pm | Zoom

Reentry scholar, Howard University professor, and Brookings Institute Fellow, Dr. Keesha Middlemass, explores current practices in a key part of the carceral continuum. Criminal justice students, experts, and actors that participate in this workshop will be asked to critically think about the policies and practices that could be changed to improve reentry outcomes. CEUs will be offered to those renewing their professional credentials.

Convicted and Condemned: The Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry | Wednesday, April 27 | 6pm – 8pm | Columbus State – Mitchell Hall Event Center & Live Streamed

Reentry scholar, Howard University professor and Brookings Institute Fellow Dr. Keesha Middlemass joins local reentry experts and those directly-impacted by the justice system to discuss why a criminal conviction is a lifelong sentence. Hosted by Harrison Poku-Yeboah and presented in collaboration with the Vincentian Ohio Action Network, ACLU of Ohio, the Franklin County Reentry Advisory Board, and the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless. The first 25 participants in the door will receive a special Reentry Week 2022 gift!

*CEUs available for those renewing credentials

Sharing Excellence | 1pm – 2pm | Zoom

Four innovative program providers from across the country will present the core elements, successes and challenges of their programs.


April 28, Thursday

GTL Presentation | 9am | Live Streamed

Hosted by the North Reentry Region and Presented by Katie Nixon.

What’s a CQE? Learn how to SCORE your best job (or Employee) yet! | 1pm – 2pm

Presented by SCORE Ohio

Struggling to find meaningful employment? Hear from experts on fair chance hiring practices including tools like the Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE.) We will discuss the ins and outs of CQEs and how they can benefit you as an applicant, as well as hear from employers and judges on their perspectives during this unique time in the job market. 

Know Your Rights: Practical Housing Tips for Returning Citizens | 3pm – 5pm | 711 Southwood Ave Columbus, OH 43207

Have you been incarcerated and are now looking for housing? Frustrated? Not sure what to do next? IMPACT Community Action in collaboration with Community Mediation Services of Central Ohio and Legal Aid will be sharing practical tips on finding housing. Additionally, there will individuals sharing their own experiences on having been incarcerated and finding housing.

Meet and Hangout | 6pm | Weinland Park, 1280 Summit St Columbus, Ohio 43224

The Central Ohio Restored Citizens Collaborative invites you to meet and hang out at Weinland Park, 1280 Summit St. Let’s just gather and talk, bounce a basketball, play with a parachute, enjoy the playground, breathe deep, and laugh. Bring your sandwich and drink, your kids or your mom, your best music and worst joke. We all need a time and place to be together and chill. This is it. See you there.


April 29, Friday

Modernizing Release Preparation: Reentry Academy and Post Release Control | 8:30am | Live Streamed

This session will provide an opportunity for incarcerated individuals, ODRC staff, and partner agencies to learn about “Reentry Academy,” a new option for individuals who are preparing for release from incarceration. Participants will learn details about Post Release Control and hear from panelists with various roles in the prisons, Adult Parole Authority, and community reentry.

21st Learning Model for Education & Programming | 11am | Live Streamed

Hosted by the North Reentry Region and Presented by Jennifer Sanders, Ohio Central School System.

Mobile-Friendly Record Sealing and Expedited Pardons | 12pm – 1pm

Presented by Hannah Miller of the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

This session will showcase two different reentry initiatives coordinated by the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center: Opportunity Port and the Ohio Governor’s Expedited Pardon Project. 

Opportunity Port: Opportunity Port is an innovative, digital tool that connects justice-involved Franklin county residents with the legal help they need to complete and submit a record sealing application. All a user needs to access Opportunity Port is a smart phone. 

Ohio Governor’s Expedited Pardon Project: The traditional pardon process takes years to complete. This project aims to make it easier for reformed citizens to receive a Governor’s Pardon within months. In addition to fast-tracking the pardon process, Expedited Pardon applicants are provided free legal assistance with required paperwork as well as representation at a hearing before the Ohio Parole Board.

Workout & Cookout with the Phoenix | 6:30 – 8pm | 371 Maier Place

The Phoenix is a national non-profit organization serving individuals in recovery from substance use and their supporters. Our mission is to build a sober, active community that fuels resilience and harnesses the transformational power of connection. We provide meaningful activities for all ability levels, from group fitness and yoga to book club and meditation; the only cost of attendance is 48 hours of continuous sobriety.

Please join The Phoenix, CORCC, and Fit Club on April 29th at 6:30pm as we will be doing a CrossFit workout at Fit Club. CrossFit is a strength and conditioning workout that is made up of functional movements performed at a high intensity level. These movements are actions that you perform in your day-to-day life, like squatting, pulling, pushing etc. The workouts may be adapted for people at any age and level of fitness. After the workout we will be having a cookout in celebration as we support our friends, family, and community members who have been incarcerated.


April 30, Saturday

The Black Wall | 7-9PM | Wild Goose – 188 McDowell St

Come out for a night of music, poetry, stories and seeing the likeness in differences. THE BACK WALL amplifies the voices and talents of people who have been most deeply impacted by mass incarceration. It’s FREE!

Register at : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-back-wall-tickets-318231969387


Organizations, individuals, and businesses from across Franklin County have come together for Reentry Week this year, and years past to highlight wellness, families, youth, businesses, and policies for meaningful and lasting re-entry.

To learn more about these incredible collaborators, click below!