Memphis pastors want to give felons second chance - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis pastors want to give felons second chance

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A new program is offering a second chance to felons looking for a job in Memphis. A new program is offering a second chance to felons looking for a job in Memphis.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) – A new program is offering a second chance to felons looking for a job in Memphis.

Rep. Danny Davis, of Chicago, will meet with city leaders in Memphis this weekend to kick off a new program aimed at reducing crime by re-training convicted felons after they have been released.

"They get out of jail, but they can't get a job and before you know it they are back in jail," said Ernest Dobbins, a retired Memphis Police Department commander. "They get out again and, because they can't get a job, they are back in jail again."

The Second Chance program has helped some former inmates in Memphis, but those with more than one felony aren't allowed to participate.

"What we are proposing is a Second Chance program that would be open to persons regardless of how many felonies they have committed, as long as they have determined they want to change their lifestyle," said Rev. Dwight Montgomery, of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

During an impromptu news conference at the Criminal Justice Center, members of the SCLC announced that Davis will help them kick off a new program to help convicted felons find work and training.

Davis authored the national Second Chance program and plans to give Memphis leaders advice on how to run their program.

"We know the possibilities of what can happen when a person is given a chance," said Rev. William Owens, of the Coalition of African-American Pastors.

Organizers say in addition to the job assistance, it's important that individuals selected for the new program are nurtured, taught money management and conflict resolution skills.

Organizer also say they need financial help from the community to make the program the best it can be.

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