Blog Posts

Nancy Cotterill co-founded 2nd Chance Indiana (as UNITE INDY) in late 2016. She was editor and later publisher of Indianapolis Business Journal, and then created a not-for-profit online news outlet for the four million wheelchair users in the U.S. As an award-winning journalist, Nancy uses her talents to promote efforts to fight the causes of overall poverty throughout our area while working to spread the specific message that second chance employment is lowering recidivism, changing lives, and raising families out of poverty.

April 6, 2020

I do about three miles a couple of times a week walking on the Monon Trail and happened by this goose standing on top of one of the old cottages on Cornell Avenue. All the other geese are in pairs, honking and letting everyone know they are claiming nesting areas, but this guy is abiding by our current social distancing regulations and he looks like many of us who are feeling a little lonely...

March 23, 2020

I was at Kroger yesterday. Shelves were bare. People were racing around. There was a line 90 feet long for the two check-out counters they had open and a dozen self-checkout stations with lines of their own. Pandemic Panic has set in. In the line one woman was telling me she had no spleen (?), another was asking me how I could be calm…"watch the news!" she demanded. (As if I hadn't been watching the 24/7 coverage of COVID-19.)

March 9, 2020

Rudy Rasmus pastors a church he started in the 90s with 9 members. Today he ministers with his wife to 9,000 souls just outside Houston, TX. But last Sunday he spoke in Indianapolis and began his message by telling us about the day he was planning to end his life. It was August 14th in 2017, and he was overwhelmed by a belief that his life no longer had meaning. He called the therapist he'd been seeing for many years who listened to his crushing feelings of hopelessness, paused for a moment and quietly said, "Rudy, you've been running from failure your entire life, maybe you should consider a perspective change. Instead of looking behind you, why don't you start looking ahead?"

February 24, 2020

Taxpayers pay millions to keep lawbreakers off the street, yet when the courts decide these folks are ready to be released, they often find themselves in situations that tend to send them right back behind bars. Recidivism serves no one, and while repeat criminals must be incarcerated, too many go back to prison due to technical violations not crimes. In the picture, left, Lena Hackett, CEO of Community Solutions is explaining a graph that breaks down into percentages those who returned to jail or prison for various reasons. The smaller blue portions of the bars represent the recidivism percentage of those who committed a new crime and were reincarcerated. But that much larger gold portion represents those who are returned to prison because they have violated technicalities of their release as set out by a judge...

February 7, 2020

With 153 gun-related homicides last year, it's clear we haven't solved the problem of gun violence in our city. A new "Gun Violence Intervention Program" has been in effect for more than 10 months here, and while it has promise, utilizing tactics that had its roots in a successful effort in gang-ridden Oakland, CA., there is not a lot of evidence the effort Is succeeding. At the dawn of 2020 city leaders proudly claimed the success of reducing gun homicides for 2019. But a closer look reveals non-death shootings were actually higher than the previous year. Pretty obviously, if the shooters had been just a little better at hitting their targets, we would have been unable to claim a reduction in gun-related homicides.

January 21, 2020

Love is a dangerous thing. Martin Luther King was targeted because while he hated the misdeeds of the past, he loved the future. He wanted all races to get together, he professed a future where we all lived in harmony. He talked about that future, he envisioned that future, he brought love to the future. And it worked. It is working. That is what so frightened his opponents...

January 7, 2020

Last week, the Indianapolis Recorder reported on the resignation of Pastor John Girton from Christ Missionary Baptist Church. After five years of leading the church in which he had been baptized, a church that was formerly lead by his uncle, he had to quit. "Pastor G," as he is commonly called, isn't old. He's not ill. He is burned out. Here's why: According to the Schaeffer Institute, 70 percent of pastors constantly fight depression, and 71 percent say they are worn out...

December 21, 2019

They say that life is ten percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we react to whatever happened. Since it's Christmas time, we know from experience that people will be in a hurry and tend to do things like cut us off in traffic, send us a size small when we ordered a large, and may generally be rushed and rude. Hopefully we can deal with these small offenses. But it gets more difficult with a house full of relatives. Christmas get-togethers can mean arguments over everything from how to cook a turkey to whether the polar ice cap is going to melt and flood Florida. However, there are some ways to get around these family debacles...

December 7, 2019

I'm a little lost. The Christmas season is upon us and I have cards to get out, presents to buy, decorating to be done, and everything that everyone else has probably already accomplished. I'm behind the 8-ball, as people used to say when they were behind on their tasks, and I have decided my excuse is that most of this has nothing to do with the real reason we celebrate.I blame the Germans...

November 21, 2019

In case you haven't been to Florida lately--News Flash--it is warmer there and there are lots of old people. Ok. I don't really qualify as young either, but visiting my mother-in-law this week was a lesson in how those who are in their upper eighties and nineties handle life in this temperate bastion of retirement villages, snow-white hair and pensions. Jim's mom is 92 and...

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2nd Chance Indiana
241 West 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208


Our Mission

Our mission is to reduce recidivism and rebuild lives through the dignity of work.