Boston Mayor Marty Walsh recently decided to open the Office of Returning Citizens to give incarcerated residents a chance at a new life.
Last week, Walsh announced the opening of the office, hoping it would give those returning to Boston from county, state, and federal facilities a helpful resource, according to Metro news.
“No one should be defined by the hardest time in their lives. Everyone deserves a second chance and a fair opportunity at success,” said Walsh in a statement.
This new office will serve as part of Boston’s Office of Public Safety, which the city created in 2014. According to the city’s webpage, nearly 3,000 people come back to the city after incarceration each year. Its goal is to help those people find housing, jobs, and healthcare.
“The Office of Returning Citizens will connect returning residents to resources throughout the city, making Boston safer and stronger – a better Boston for everyone,” said Walsh.
The mayor appointed Kevin Sibley as the director for the office. Sibley brings over 18 years of experience in human resources, program development, and grant-funded initiatives to the position.
“I look forward to helping those residents who need a helping hand, giving them the resources they need to lead a positive life here in Boston,” said Sibley.
Harvard University released a study in 2014, called the “Boston Reentry Study.” The study found that previously-incarcerated people face challenges especially when it comes to finding permanent employment and housing.
“The Office of Returning Citizens is a crucial step that will help Boston’s residents connect, or reconnect, to the comprehensive resources they need to reintegrate successfully into their families and communities,” said Andrea Perry, executive director of YouthConnect, a program that pairs clinical social workers with at-risk youth.
The Office of Returning Citizens will be located at 22 Drydock Ave. in Boston’s Seaport District. Walsh hopes that this location will be easily accessible for all.