Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Tilley, others talk reentry programs during White House visit

04/05/2017 03:27 PM

Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley lauded a meeting with White House officials last week as an indication that business and policy leaders are serious about strengthening felon reentry programs.

Last week’s visit came as state lawmakers wrapped up their work in this year’s 30-day legislative session, during which legislators approved a wide-ranging bill that included new felon reentry programs. Tilley was among officials from Alabama, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington, D.C., who met with President Donald Trump’s Domestic Policy Council and officials with the White House’s Intergovernmental Affairs unit, according to a cabinet news release.

The collection of state and national corrections officials also talked about the Second Chance Act currently before Congress and getting the business community on board with hiring felons who have finished their sentences, among other local and national topics, the release says.

For felons, employment is “the most important thing they need to succeed in the community upon their release,” said Tilley, who chairs the Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council.

“Almost everyone with a criminal record will eventually return to society,” Tilley said in a statement. “Our communities are safest when we provide these individuals a clear path toward employment and demand that they take personal responsibility for holding a job and turning away from crime. The council’s work has been critical in meeting these goals, and I want to thank Gov. Bevin for his leadership in these efforts.”


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