FALLS CHURCH, Va., April 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- GTL, a leader in transformative corrections technology that improves outcomes for inmates and facilities, today announced its support for Second Chance Month and reiterated its commitment to aiding successful reentry for returning citizens. Second Chance Month occurs in April each year and is a nationwide effort launched by Prison Fellowship in 2017 to raise awareness about the barriers faced by adults with a criminal record. In 2019, April was officially proclaimed as Second Chance Month by the White House.
Approximately 70 million Americans, or 1 in 3 adults, have a criminal record. While these individuals have completed their sentences and paid their debt to society, they often face limited access to education, jobs, housing, and other essential resources needed to reach their potential. Second Chance Month shines a spotlight on the hardships returning citizens face, focuses on why assistance is imperative to their success in society, and provides them with the opportunity to start over.
GTL recognizes the importance of helping returning citizens reinvent themselves and turn their lives around. In support of that ideal and in recognition of Second Chance Month, GTL has signed the Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM's) Getting Talent Back to Work pledge to consider all qualified candidates, including those formerly incarcerated, for open positions.
"GTL has always instituted inclusive hiring practices but taking the SHRM pledge shows that we are committed to bringing returning citizens into our workforce," said Matthew Caesar, GTL Executive Vice President, Customer Solutions. "Many returning citizens are shut out of the job market, but GTL recognizes the value, experience, and dedication they can bring to our company. As employers search for qualified candidates, it makes sense to consider the nearly 700,000 people released from incarceration each year."
GTL's Reentry Services focus on what inmates need to succeed in society, and education is one of the key differentiators that reduce the recidivism rate. GTL leverages advanced technology, including inmate tablets, to deliver the best education solutions possible to the highest number of inmates. One example of how GTL Education has helped provide second chances is through a partnership with the Building Entrepreneurs for Success in Tennessee (BEST) program. For the past six years, GTL has provided tablets and loaded education content for their six-month cohort program. 20 students based at the Tennessee Prison for Women have six hours a day of class time, learning business and entrepreneurial skills as well as working on personal development and transformation. The program has experienced high graduation rates, low recidivism rates, and many success stories.
"The business, financial literacy, and entrepreneurial lessons loaded on the tablets are important to the BEST students, but academic knowledge is not everything," said Karen Vander Molen, BEST Executive Director. "It is the deeply personal growth, focused on self-healing, values development, and other inner work, that lays the foundation and prepares the students to transform into citizens ready to become successful contributors to society. BEST is all about second chances, and we are fortunate that GTL believes in them, too."
GTL's portfolio includes Reentry Services to assist people under supervision in overcoming the obstacles they face when returning to society. With the right connections to the people and resources they need, successful outcomes can be increased, and the recidivism rate can be reduced. GTL connects currently and formerly incarcerated people to educational and vocational training, incarceration friendly employers, training, support groups, and other programs to give them the best opportunity possible.
"We are constantly working to build innovative solutions and partner with ground-breaking companies that better the outlook for returning citizens," concluded Mr. Caesar. "Most people deserve a second chance, and we are showing our commitment to that belief by signing the SHRM pledge. We encourage other businesses to also focus on inclusive hiring, no matter a candidate's background."
GTL leads the fields of corrections technology, education, and intelligence, as well as government payment services, with visionary solutions that integrate seamlessly to deliver security, financial value, and operational efficiencies while aiding inmate rehabilitation. As a trusted industry leader, GTL provides services to over 1.6 million inmates in more than 2,300 correctional facilities in the United States and Canada, including 29 U.S. departments of corrections, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons. GTL is headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, with an employee presence throughout North America. To learn more about GTL, please visit www.gtl.net or social media sites on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.