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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

A new hotline connects formerly incarcerated people with re-entry services in NC

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Thursday, May 9, 2024   

A North Carolina group hopes to help people stay out of prison by connecting them to critical resources.

Recidivism Reduction Educational Programs Services is launching a new hotline to help formerly incarcerated people with re-entry services.

Kerwin Pittman, the organization's founder, said he found it tough getting connected to the right people as a returning citizen nearly seven years ago and in 2024, he said the issue still exists.

"What we realized that across North Carolina, the connectivity wasn't happening at all," Pittman pointed out. "You would have people returning, citizens, family members, those who wanted to get help for these individuals trying to reach out for services and needed services but just couldn't find them."

The hotline connects callers to real people who essentially create a bridge directly to services in the community. Pittman noted since its launch last Monday, more than 100 people have used the call center to get connected to housing and jobs. To contact the center, call 1-888-852-0004.

In North Carolina, 44% of people are re-arrested within two years of being released from state prisons. Pittman acknowledged it can be challenging to have a successful transition when you don't know where to start and emphasized one small resource can be the key to getting on track.

"You'd be surprised how many individuals come home and don't just have simple identification," Pittman emphasized. "And we know without identification, you can't receive benefits that you may be eligible for, you can't receive a job, you can't receive housing. And so everything kind of plays into each other."

In addition to closing gaps and getting people to services, Pittman said he hopes it inspires others to find innovative ways to make connection easier for people affected by the justice system. Earlier this year at the state level, Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 303 to improve re-entry.


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