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Marion Co. Re-entry Coalition conference aims to help ex-offenders stay out of trouble

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The Marion County Re-Entry Conference began Thursday morning

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (October 22, 2015) – City leaders are joining forces to prevent ex-offenders from returning to prison. The Marion County Re-Entry Conference began Thursday morning.

Around 400 organization representatives are expected to attend. They will be sharing ideas on how to best serve the members of the community who are struggling to find jobs due to previous convictions.

“Re-entry is important to everyone because we know when someone stays in the community and they’re able to be successful, able to get a job and have a family life, that they’re not going to return [to prison],” said April Angermeier, from Community Solutions. “And, we don’t have as much of an issue with our public safety because of that.”

Event organizers say an estimated 85 percent of Indianapolis homicide suspects have local criminal histories. Plus, half of ex-offenders released in Marion County are returning to prison within three years.

The goal of the conference is to expand services and brainstorm more ways to create a smooth transition from prison or jail to rejoining the community.

Suzanne Maudlin struggled to find a job due to her criminal record.

“I was giving up,” she said. “I had completely thought my life was over, nobody was willing to give me a job.”

She was able to straighten out her life thanks for Public Advocates in Community Re-entry (PACE).

“PACE is your hope,” Maudlin said. “The programs they offer, there’s love here for people that have made mistakes and are willing to change their lives.”

The conference takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Caring Place, located at 2901 N. Post Road. Speakers include Robert Ohlemillre from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and David Murtaugh from the Indiana Criminal Justice Center.

Participants for Thursday’s conference were required to pre-register, but the Marion Re-entry Coalition plans to host similar events in the near future. To contact the coalition, email april@communitysolutionsinc.net