City Councilmembers to Participate in Re-Entry Simulation
Onslow and Carteret County Event at Crystal Coast Civic Center, Morehead City, NC
City of Jacksonville Councilmembers Brian H Jackson, Cindy Edwards and Bob Warden will participate in the Re-Entry Simulation event scheduled for Thursday, April 13, 2023 at the Crystal Coast Convention Center in Morehead City.
The Jacksonville Onslow Welcome Home Council and the Carteret County Reentry Council are hosting this event to bring awareness about the barriers an individual released from jail or prison experiences when reentering the community. Additionally, they are providing first-hand experiences to participants to deepen their understanding of the difficulties formerly incarcerated persons face. They hope participants will take this experience to heart and support future efforts to remove unnecessary barriers. The overall goal is to reduce the cycle of reoffending.
Councilmembers Jackson, Edwards and Warden will join in the simulation activities, where participants play the role of a newly released person re-entering society, looking for work, to gain credentials or buy a home. Others participating will play the role of realtors, potential employers, government agents for driver’s license or service providers.
Councilwoman Cindy Edwards said, “We will be playing the role of formerly incarcerated persons looking for work, seeking housing and a driver’s license. We are representing the City of Jacksonville in this event and want to not only educate ourselves about challenges facing these individuals, but also help raise awareness in our own community.”
Councilman Brian H Jackson, Vice-Chair of the JOWHC added, “I am excited to be a part of this simulation. Community leaders, nonprofits and other service providers will get a chance to walk in the shoes of our returning citizens. It cost the taxpayers more to house inmates than to prevent recidivism or to educate our young. When we support returning citizens by showing them opportunities to a productive pathway, and prevent our children from distressed environments from negative outcomes by helping them reach their potential, we build stronger communities. This Simulation allows decision makers to see things from a different perspective.”
Councilman Bob Warden shared, “My hope is that we will learn more about these challenges and have the opportunity to share what we’ve learned with the public at a Council meeting in the near future.”
This Re-entry Simulation is a state initiative supported by the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections and events like this simulation are taking place in other counties. In support of the effort, North Carolina Senator, Michael Lazzara (Former City of Jacksonville Mayor Pro-Tem) and North Carolina Lt Governor Mark Robinson are scheduled to attend.
The simulation is scheduled for 8AM-12 Noon and registration is required to take part. Those not attending the simulation may attend the resource fair in the afternoon which will be open to the public, 1-4PM at the same location.