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Ex-Offenders Invited to Weigh-In on Reentry Process

Prison 02 By Caleb Miller.jpg
Caleb Miller for KUT News
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A local coalition that helps people transition from life in prison to the outside is now looking for ex-offenders to serve on an advisory committee.

The Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable’s Ex-Offenders’ Council will make recommendations for policy changes that make the transition from prison to society easier.

A few years ago, the group the helped change how city and county job applications ask about criminal background.

Jeri Houchins is the group’s Administrative Director. She says it’s important for those who have experienced reentry to have a voice in any possible changes.“We particularly want to focus on Latino and African American because we have a disproportionality in the criminal justice system with minorities and so we really would like to make sure that the ex-offenders council is proportional as to how many are actually arrested, and incarcerated, and released, and on probation and all those things because culturally there’s a lot of differences for reentry," Houchins says.

The second meeting of the Ex-Offenders’ Council is at 6 p.m.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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