Primavera Foundation hosts forum to tackle re-entry, restorative justice issues

Collaboration is key if local organizations are to help people who’ve been incarcerated fully re-enter society. That message came out of a convening, the second in a series, hosted by Primavera Foundation and Old Pueblo Community Services.

About 30 representatives from non-profit, government and other organizations met at Primavera on June 26 to discuss ways to help people overcome barriers they face after release from jail or prison.

The discussion touched on those barriers – a lack of affordable housing, substance abuse, behavioral or mental illness, ID challenges and more – but the bigger goal was to identify gaps and areas where the organizations can support each other.

Representatives discussed upcoming initiatives, such as a Pima County Attorney’s Office diversion program for low-level offenders called a “restorative justice circle,” and shared info about events like Second Chance Tucson’s Job Fair for people with convictions on Aug. 17 at the Tucson Convention Center.

And they stressed that many people coming out of incarceration need immediate assistance, “a warm hand-off,” to prevent their return to jail. “They need to be connected to these services right away, not a day or two or a week later,” Doyle Morrison of Pima County Justice Services said, as he called for robust communication among the groups.

Primavera CEO Tisha Tallman called it a gift that everyone would be willing to share resources with. “One thing that is difficult is for us to get out of a scarcity model and to look at abundance,” she said. “I’ve heard a lot of abundance here today.” This was the second convening this year. The first discussed workforce redevelopment, while others will cover housing, home ownership and more.

The next one, which will focus on housing, is from 9-11 a.m., Monday, July 10, at Primavera Foundation’s Training Center, 151 W. 40th St.

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