Break the Cycle: Proverbs 226

On August 11th, Changed Choices staff viewed a new documentary, Break the Cycle, from Proverbs 226. Proverbs 226 creates the positive momentum in a child’s life that opens doors, allows healing and drives change. The nonprofit began in 2012 with founder, Cyril Prabhu, working with men held at Kershaw Correctional in South Carolina, and has […]

Could Second Chance hiring fix the labor shortage?

Second chance hiring could be a way to provide opportunity to justice involved people and help build a resilient workforce. According to the Chamber of Commerce, one in three adults (about 77 million Americans) have a criminal record. That’s a lot of qualified applicants knocked out of the job market with an estimated $78-$87 billion […]

Mental Health options

North Carolina’s mental health system is lacking psychiatric hospital beds, and the issue has continued to grow. On any given day, an average of 350 North Carolinians waited in emergency rooms because no psychiatric beds were available. WFAE Charlotte recently completed a nine part series on mental health care in North Carolina, and highlighted a […]

Second Chance Act of North Carolina

In 2020, The Second Chance Act was passed unanimously by the NC General Assembly. The bill expands eligibility for expunging multiple nonviolent misdemeanor convictions, and automates expungement of certain dismissed or “not guilty” charges. The Second Chance Act also allows prosecutors to petition for expungement for dismissed or “not guilty” charges and “youthful convictions”. Why […]

What impacts recidivism?

Each year, 22,000 individuals are released from North Carolina Department of Public Safety facilities. What it shown to have the greatest impact on recidivism? Individualized re-entry plans. Successful re-entry begins with planning well in advance of a person’s release date. Changed Choices clients begin working on successful re-entry as soon as they become a client. […]

Pell Grants for incarcerated students

On July 1, Pell Grant eligibility will extend to incarcerated students ending a ban that prevented most incarcerated individuals for receiving federal aid for continuing education. This momentous change invalidates the ban put in place in 1994. This change will make 760,000 eligible incarcerated students eligible for $7,395 in Pell Grant awards. A Bureau of […]

A day of celebration!

On Saturday, our clients, volunteers, and staff gathered to celebrate 19 women’s accomplishments over the last year. Each year, Changed Choices celebrates pre-release and re-entry clients reaching their goals at our annual graduation party. This year, goals included: A big thank you to Matthews United Methodist Church for providing amazing food and fellowship. We can’t […]

How do we find new clients?

Each quarter, our admissions committee gathers to identify new clients for Changed Choices. The process begins long before that quarterly meeting. Before the pandemic, we met potential clients through our work at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center, and our classes, counseling, and mentorship program. During COVID, we entrusted our current clients to be our advocates […]

The power of continuing education

Large graduation event

Last month, our staff had the opportunity to cheer for two clients continuing their education journey. Each women achieve a their goal of receiving their associate’s degree. Not only is this achievement something to celebrate, it’s an investment in their future. A Bureau of Justice Statistics study showed there is a 43% reduction in recidivism […]