Former incarcerated get a second chance with reentry events

April 2022 is designated Second Chance Month for justice involved people by Gov. Roy Cooper for all of North Carolina, and the Hoke County Local Reentry Council plans to hold several events to support those who are reentering society after being incarcerated.

The Hoke Local Reentry Council under the leadership of Ophelia Ray, intermediary agent, provides resources and assistance for justice involved clients in Hoke County. The Council is planning a job fair, expungement clinic and N.C. relief from criminal justice debt this month.

The event schedule is as follows:

•April 5, Hoke County N.C. Second Chance Opening: State Rep. Garland Pierce, Hoke County Commissioner Harry Southerland, reentry partners and council members will hold a meet and greet, and offer lunch for a “chat and chew.”

•April 6, N.C. Reentry Expungement Clinic: Michael Westray will speak on filing, forms and process for expungement, with N.C. Legal Aid covering laws and changes; End Criminal Justice Debt: Hoke County Clerk of Court will discuss forms and process, and lunch will be served.

•April 21, Hoke County Reentry Job Fair: The NC Works Commerce will be available with support for former justice involved people seeking employment, lunch will be served.

All of the events will be held at the Breaking Every Chain resource center, located at 109 North Main Street, Suite B in downtown Raeford. The events April 5, 6 and 21 will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on those dates.

The Reentry Council organizes a network of individuals and organizations to coordinate a response to help formerly incarcerated individuals reintegrate after their incarceration is over. Reentry Council services include support with housing, transportation, medical needs, employment, education and legal/advocacy assistance.

Any individual returning to Hoke County following incarceration in a federal or state prison or local jail is welcome to join, according to the organization’s information. The Council provides services to individuals in prison scheduled to be released in the next six months, individuals being released from detention facilities and individuals currently on probation, parole, and/or post-release supervision.

At least 18 organizations and agencies are sponsoring the event, including N.C. DPS, N.C. Legal Aid, N.C. Works, the Hoke County Commissioners, Hoke County Health Department, Goshen Medical Center, Daymark, Sandhills Center, PNC Bank, Sandhills Community College, Maggie’s Outreach plus several churches, ministries and other community groups.

For more information on reentry services or the upcoming events for Second Chance Month, contact or call (910) 565-2299. See the website for more.

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