FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Civic Innovators Convene and Progress - Rethinking, Reshaping and Redesigning the Prison Re-entry Ecosystem
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 2, 2015 – On the eve of President Obama announcing new actions to promote efficient rehabilitation and reintegration strategies for the formerly incarcerated, more than 180 Washington metropolitan area civic innovators convened over two days at the Rebuilding Re-entry hackathon, an annual social justice event focused specifically on prison re-entry. Mission: Launch, Inc. hosted this community problem solving gathering to discuss, understand and prototype solutions for local prison re-entry issues with the aim of incubating and demonstrating tech-based tools within eight (8) months. This year’s themes included: the Right to Work (barriers to viable employment), sequencing re-entry service providers and visualizing data.
Based upon challenges presented, ten (10) prototype teams were formed; they are a balance of tech and program based solutions which address challenges connected to the various stages of the re-entry process. The Clean Slate DC team continued backend development work of the website already streamlining the record sealing and expungement process for DC residents with conviction histories. “We are always excited when a project advances. Clean Slate DC is the perfect example of this. As a project nearing a year in development, we will soon be able to test this technology at legal clinics throughout the city.” Laurin Hodge, Executive Director, Mission: Launch, Inc.
With the goal of humanizing the women who experience incarceration in America, Mission: Launch, Inc. created new storytelling platform and campaign, #OurShoeStory. “Shoes possess their own stories about the women who wear them and where they have traveled. By combining a picture of a woman’s shoes with her story, we provide a safe space for her to stand in her truths. This is an inter-generational conversation about journeys through mass incarceration and other experiences; we will focus on life lessons and matters that concern women as we seek to create a more just and equitable society.” Teresa Hodge, Executive Vice President, Mission: Launch, Inc.
MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent, Ari Melber, conducted interviews, including discussions on the gaps in prison/jail pre-release preparation, varied employment barriers as well as other roadblocks to successful re-entry.
This event was a gathering of civil servants, attorneys, re-entry service providers, returning citizens, advocates and computer programmers, collaborating to create new, open-source technology that will be built and stewarded within this community. Representatives from the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), Neighborhood Legal Services and the DC Reentry Task Force were also present. The shared goal is closing gaps in re-entry service delivery as well as policy implementation. This event is hosted by Mission: Launch, Inc. The Kapor Center for Social Impact was the event’s major sponsor. Impact Hub DC served as the space host sponsor at 419 7th St. NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20004
Mission: Launch, in collaboration with space partner Impact Hub Baltimore, will broaden its impact into the city of Baltimore. Rebuilding Re-entry will host its Baltimore event in February 2016.
For more information, contact Bryn Phillips [email protected]
EVENT HASHTAG: #RebuildingReEntry
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About Mission: Launch, Inc.
Mission Launch, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization, and is the founding and managing member of the Rebuilding Re-entry Coalition. The corporation is committed to the elimination of bias against Returning Citizens so that they can rejoin society and live out their full potential free of the stigma, which is an invisible life sentence. The mission of the organization is to build software that upholds human rights, design opportunities for civic engagement, and amplify inclusive thought leadership, so that social outcomes for marginalized communities are improved. Website www.mission-launch.orgTwitter: www.twitter.com/mission_launch