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.

August 8, 2022

Is work out of style? My parents were middle-class people. As kids, we didn't have to work to eat, but we DID have to work. What I didn't know at the time, was that I was learning valuable lessons about coming under authority and how to negotiate a job site long before I would ever need those skills...

July 21, 2022

Last Friday at 9:30 in the morning, an Uber driver was shot. As the weekend began, four people were shot in a park in Beech Grove. One is dead. Then on Sunday, in the food court at Greenwood Park Mall around dinner time a 20-year old with 3 guns and more than 100 rounds began shooting. Three more people were killed and others were wounded, including a 12-year-old girl. If it weren't for another armed man, carrying a legal weapon, who shot and killed the shooter, it would have been a blood bath.

July 7, 2022

Back in November of '21 folks on Indy's east side weren't getting very much sleep. Pop pop pop, every night. Gunshots cracked the silence, pushing Indianapolis homicides to a record 246 by the end of the year. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett responded, using $150 million in federal American Rescue Plan money to hire more officers, use more mental health resources, and roll out a group of "peacekekeepers." But what happens when the peacekeeper is shot?

June 21, 2022

It's a scary time in our country. We've cooked up a big old fear cocktail, made with a bottle of violence, a mixer of economic problems and a couple shots of distrust. I was talking with a friend about about all the things people are worried about today, and It reminded me of how afraid I used to be of flying. As I look back I realize that's the last thing I should have been afraid of. But there I was, in my 20s, on a plane to visit my husband who was training at Ft. Benning. In the seat next to me was an Air Force cadet from Mississippi and he noticed how nervous I was. He leaned over and spoke to me, almost in a whisper.

June 7, 2022

You've been mentored. I've been mentored. First by a parent, then by a teacher, later perhaps by a coach, or someone who actually had the title. Paul mentored Timothy. Jesus mentored the Apostles. Without a mentor at critical times in our lives we are nothing more than a blind man trying to cross a highway at rush hour. Thirty years of research studies on mentoring proves that mentees are positively affected by the leadership, care, friendship, and attention of a mentor. In a commercial setting, 43 studies indicate that those who were mentored received higher compensation...

May 23, 2022

Take a look at the childhood histories of juveniles in incarceration, and you will find that most have endured trauma that has changed them, given them a different world view, made them less empathetic, more defensive and often blinded them to the basic norms of social behavior.If you're tough enough to read the ACE questionnaire, it will give you an idea of what most juvenile offenders have dealt with in their youth.

May 7, 2022

The United States Supreme Court is currently in the process of deciding if a football coach in Washington State was illegally fired from his job. Coach Joe Kennedy, a winning and popular high school coach had a habit of taking a knee on the 50 yard line after a game and saying a silent 10-15 second prayer. After a while, some members of the team joined him. School officials became enraged...

April 21, 2022

On Easter Sunday Jim and I attended the bed-side funeral service via Zoom of our nephew's 38-year-old wife. There were 50 or 60 of her closest friends online. She had died on Good Friday, her time of death was called at 3:33 p.m.The timing with Good Friday and Easter strike me as having great meaning, and yet, I don't really understand what that meaning is.

April 7, 2022

Actor Will Smith certainly gave the Oscars a ratings boost with his reaction to Chris Rock's monologue last week. I don't really care about watching Hollywood prima donnas giving themselves awards, but just about everyone has heard about the recent Oscar kerfuffle. Anyway, next thing you know the "Independence Day" actor was up on the ...

March 21, 2022

UNITE INDY is an effort of the heart, but, by necessity, it is also an effort of the head. Statistics play an important role in understanding what we are doing and how we can impact the need. If we want to ask God to "move a mountain," we have to know everything about the mountain.We've been involved with a study that proved that those who have served long-term sentences make good employees--even great employees. But the cultural change necessary to move successfully from a prison/jail culture to an employment opportunity isn't easy to make.

Contact Information

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.