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Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable
Quarterly Newsletter

September 2015

 Evolution of a Criminal - Screening & Panel Discussion Recap

  *Photos courtesy of the Austin Film Society.

The film "Evolution of a Criminal" was screened to a packed house at the Marchesa Theater on August 12th, and was followed by a lively and engaging audience talk-back and panel discussion. We also had a very successful screening of the film with a director Q&A session with inmates at the Travis County Jail. The Reentry Roundtable extends a huge thank you to the Austin Film Society, Grassroots Leadership, panelists April Zamora, Charles Robinson, Sherwynn Patton, Lauren Johnson, Dr. Courtney Robinson, Judge Cliff Brown, and director Darius Clark Monroe for taking part in this successful community event! We look forward to the next opportunity to engage our community in an ongoing dialogue around race, education, restorative justice and reentry.
Didn't get a chance to attend the screening?
Stream Evolution of a Criminal for free here.

Fair Chance Hiring Reform in Austin: A/TCRRT in the Statesman

The Austin-American Statesman recently explored our city's response to federal criminal justice reform and efforts to remove employment barriers to reentry, recognizing A/TCRRT's work toward developing an infrastructure for effective reentry. Read the full article here.

Reentry in the 84th Legislature

The Reentry Roundtable conducted legislative advocacy on bills introduced in the 84th Texas Legislature related to our strategic plan goals in housing, employment and behavioral health. Two important reentry bills that we supported were passed! ​HB 1510 legally protect​s​ landlords who provide housing to people with criminal records. Additionally, the content of  HB 1267 was added to SB 200 (Sunset bill), which allows​ Texas to develop its own reentry policies with federal food assistance funds.
UT Interviews XOffenders' Council Member Reggie Smith

“I understand because I have been there. I can reach out to the right people because I have used their services. It’s easy for a policymaker and researcher to talk about policy outcomes on paper but I know how they work in the real world."  

The University of Texas Division of Student Affairs recently interviewed Reggie Smith, sophmore in the UT School of Social Work and active member of the XOffenders' Council. Read the full interview here.

Bipartisan Drive on Prison Reform Could Benefit
Juvenile Justice & Children

The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) writes that there is a growing consensus between President Obama, Republicans, Democrats, liberals and conservatives to address mandatory minimum sentences and to change federal criminal laws in a way that will adjust the number and type of people in federal prisons. Mandatory minimum sentences often lock judges into specific and harsh sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, contributing to the increase in the prison population from 500,000 in 1982 to 2.3 million in 2015. While the number of prisoners increases, so do the number of children in foster care and transitional living programs as a result of an incarcerated parent. Read the full article here.