"Graduation is a racial-justice issue that must be addressed."
In Georgia, 78% of state prisons inmates, almost 68% of federal inmates, and over 70% of jail inmates did not graduate high school.
The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice reports that for Atlanta’s Fulton County, African-American youth made up over 93% of total intake for unique youth served for criminal offenses; over 92% of admissions for criminal offenses; over 92% of releases for criminal offenses committed; over 96% of the average daily population for criminal offenses; and over 95% of child care days served for criminal defenses. Over 65% of black men who did not graduate high school spend time in prison by their 25th birthday. Graduation is a racial-justice issue that must be addressed.
Project 2nd Chance identifies students who have been court-ordered to finish high school and be cleared of non-violent crime charges, or to return to prison. Project 2nd Chance is absolutely invaluable to these students, who find themselves at a fork in the road and whose lives can be dramatically altered with the completion of high school. Our organization is unique in that it tailors our programming to meet the needs of at-risk youth in the Metro Atlanta area, including DeKalb and Cobb county. Our program’s model is an essential stepping stone in halting the school-to-prison pipeline which has been decried as a severe threat to racial justice by civil and human rights organizations like the ACLU. We believe that our community, county, state, and nation should make education of all children our number one priority. Project 2nd Chance promotes the ACLU’s creed that “children should be educated, not incarcerated.”
Project 2nd Chance partners with the Juvenile Justice System to save millions of tax dollars that are currently allocated to house many of these offenders. A coordinated system of (1) restitution to victims, (2) reparative work in the community, (3) readily available substance abuse programs,(4) educational/vocational and counseling programs such as Project Second Chance, and (5) parenting classes which are hallmarks of nationally recognized criminal justice strategy can create a structural solution. Project Second Chance can be part of the solution of this coordinated system that would not only save lives but also save millions of tax dollars.