I am writing to invite you to the Returning Citizen Reentry Simulation in the Rayburn Foyer on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 from 9:30AM-12:00PM. I am pleased to be giving opening remarks at this enlightening event, hosted by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), The Education Trust, JustLeadershipUSA, and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, in partnership with The Office of the West Virginia Attorney General.
Though bills such as the First Step Act signal the beginning of critical reform to our federal criminal justice system, there is still important work to be done. This simulation will help participants gain an understanding of the significant obstacles faced by individuals who are trying to re-join their families and re-enter their communities post-release, particularly when it comes to obtaining employment, housing, transportation, and educational opportunities.
As members of Congress consider important reforms to both our justice and higher education systems, to walk in the shoes of one who is returning home gives us invaluable insight to the obstacles these individuals face. This simulation will allow us all the opportunity to brainstorm the promotion of successful reentry skills, such as the importance of educational opportunities afforded during incarceration, and other experience-based insights with justice-impacted individuals.