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April 11, 2024, City Council Regular Meeting
6. An Appearance by Representatives of Advocates for Restorative Communities of Savannah (ARCS) to Receive a Proclamation Declaring the Month of April 2024 as “2nd Chance Month” in Savannah, GA.
Strategic Priority
Good Government

A criminal record should not necessarily mean a lifetime disqualification from the opportunity to build a better life after a mistake, for oneself and one's family. Redemption and second chances are fundamental American values. It is recognized that approximately 70 million Americans carry a criminal record, with over 48,000 individuals currently incarcerated and 191,000 individuals under probation and parole supervision in Georgia alone. The Council of State Governments has reported that the number of legal collateral consequences stemming from a criminal conviction exceeds 44,000 nationwide, with 1,006 specifics to Georgia.


These legal barriers can contribute to recidivism rates, thereby increasing victimization and decreasing public safety. In 2019, the Mayor of Savannah formed the Advocating for Restorative Communities in Savannah (ARCS) task force with a mission to create a supportive and enriching community environment for persons with criminal histories and a vision for a community that welcomes, supports, enriches, and celebrates successes of persons with criminal histories. The designation of April as Second Chance Month would significantly contribute to raising public awareness about the need for closure and rehabilitation for those who have paid their debt to society, and provide opportunities for individuals, employers, congregations, and communities to extend second chances, encouraging all citizens to reflect on the importance of forgiveness, rehabilitation, and the pursuit of a brighter future for justice-impacted individuals. 



Van R. Johnson II, Mayor, Office of the Mayor
Financial Impact
Review Comments

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