By Ashley Ingram
A forthcoming event in Petersburg is set to create a remarkable impact in the lives of many Virginians and enhance public safety in the region. On Wednesday, November 15, at 4:00 p.m., the Attorney General of Virginia, Jason Miyares, in collaboration with Petersburg Sheriff Vanessa Crawford, is hosting the Petersburg Returning Citizen Job Fair at Good Shepherd Baptist Church, located at 2223 S. Crater Road, Petersburg, Virginia 23805.
The primary objective of this job fair is to facilitate the reintegration of formerly incarcerated Virginians into the workforce by helping them secure meaningful employment opportunities. Both officials believe in second chances for people who have made serious mistakes in their life. They are also doing this because they know that helping returning citizens find good jobs improves public safety in Virginia.
Drawing on their experiences within the criminal justice system, both Attorney General Miyares and Sheriff Crawford emphasized the crucial role of employment in reducing recidivism rates. Within the criminal justice system, they have seen first-hand how formerly incarcerated people are far less likely to return to a life of crime if they have good, quality employment.
Speaking of his personal involvement, Attorney General Miyares highlighted his interactions with individuals preparing for their release from correctional facilities. He talked about visiting several prisons and meeting with people who are remorseful for their crime, and they’re ready to reenter society and contribute in a positive way, after paying their debt to society.
In an effort to ensure the success of this initiative, the organizers are actively seeking the participation of local businesses and organizations. Interested employers are encouraged to reach out to Attorney General Miyares’ Central Virginia Community Liaison Officer, Juliana McGrath, at JMcGrath@oag.state.va.us to register for the event. The aim is to gather a diverse group of 20-30 employers, fostering a conducive environment for returning citizens to explore a range of career opportunities.
With a vision to foster long-term positive changes, the Petersburg Returning Citizen Job Fair not only stands as a testament to the transformative power of employment but also serves as a crucial step towards fostering a safer and more inclusive community.