Good news is available here via our city’s City Life program about reforms that are working to remove barriers that people who have been involved with the justice system face when looking for work and getting a driver’s license. Congratulations to Outreach Coordinator Chuck Manning Sr. and Team Project Manager Ryan Smith, a former colleague on the board of the People’s Alliance here in town. I specifically admire how detailed the thinking was about how this plan was implemented, such as thinking through obstacles to driver’s license restoration. Instead of requiring people to go down to the courthouse to apply, residents were given the option of applying by text message or email. 2,500 people applied in a two week period. One of the reasons for the jump is that people were afraid that coming in to the courthouse was a trap, which Manning explains is based on actual experiences in the past. When asked why this was the right thing to do, Smith says “It is not fair for individuals to suffer worse consequences for the same offense simply because they are poor and black.”
The above link is audio only, but you can watch video of the interview on the city’s Facebook page here.