Reentry Ready Event Recap

June 26, 2019 | Washington, D.C.

Convergence hosted a briefing on the Reentry Ready Project’s transformative plan designed to improve reentry success for the thousands of individuals returning home from incarceration. The plan calls for coordination at the highest level across the multiple systems that serve incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals. The Reentry Ready recommendations focused on four key areas: physical and behavioral health; family, housing, and community connections; education and employability; and cross-cutting issues. By focusing on what happens during incarceration and immediately afterward, it addresses a critical, yet often overlooked, aspect of criminal justice reform. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) headlined the release event. 

Senator Tim Kaine Delivers Opening Address

Welcome and Introduction
· Rob Fersh, President and Founder, Convergence

Supporting Reentry Success
Senator Kaine discussed the importance of the recommendations and the role of congressional leadership in reentry success, noting:

“One of the things I found most interesting about the report is the focus on the silos. We have a lot of good people doing a lot of good work, but so often the work being done in the reentry space is very fragmented, and fragmented systems are inaccessible systems.” 

He also reflected on his time as a state and local policymaker and the value the recommendations could have in his home state of Virginia.

Reentry Ready Panel 1: Physical and Behavioral Health & Education and Employability Recommendations

· Stephanie McGencey, Director, Reentry Ready Project, Convergence
· Sherri Davis, Community Family Life Services Speakers Bureau
· Marc Levin, Vice President, Criminal Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation and Right on Crime
· Ashley McSwain, Executive Director, Community Family Life Services
· David Safavian, Deputy Director, Center for Criminal Justice Reform, American Conservative Union Foundation

Reentry Ready Panel 2: Family, Housing and Community & State Leadership Recommendations

· Stephanie McGencey, Director, Reentry Ready Project, Convergence
· Leann Bertsch, Director, North Dakota Department of Corrections
· Helenia Bragg, Community Family Life Services Speakers Bureau
· Ashley McSwain, Executive Director, Community Family Life Services