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.

November 22, 2021

"The victim has been identified as 25-year-old Mo'Nesha McKinley," said the police report. She was found dead on the city's near-east side just after noon one day about a month ago, when police responded to the 1000 block of North Rural Street on reports of a "possible deceased individual." Actually, she had been missing for four days. Where was she for four days? Who committed this terrible crime? With more than 50 percent of homicides remaining unsolved in our city, it is no wonder there are so few answers.

November 11, 2021

Most Christians believe if we are faithful and pray for what we need, we will eventually get it. After all, Matthew 7:7 says, "Ask and it will be given unto you." Like using a vending machine, we have inserted our coins of tithing, faith and commitment, and prayed for that promotion, or that BMW, or rosy health, or that person to love us more, or our child to stop using drugs. How frustrated are we when we fail to hear that "thump-a-dump" noise that signals our answered prayer has fallen into the front of the machine?

October 13, 2021

I remember distinctly the night I heard a radio somewhere in our house playing music that was so innovative and new I had to track down the source. In the next room a small transistor radio was broadcasting the Beatles' American breakthrough hit "I Want To Hold Your Hand" on WLS. I remember thinking that it was going to be a huge hit. (Obviously, a few hundred million other people thought so too.)I was 14. I played in the band, ate dinner every night with my parents and three sisters, went to church, watched Bonanza. Contrast that with the recent arrest of a 14-year-old on multiple felony charges. He was caught as he was running away from gun fire that halted a Ben Davis football game and was arrested for his alleged role in the shooting of a 16-year-old during an attempted carjacking.

October 7, 2021

Back in 1942--the darkest days of World War II, members of the U.S. Congress were holding informal prayer meetings together hoping to stem the tide of American dead and wounded from the European and Pacific fronts. They prayed for victory over Nazi Germany and its allies, and for our men and women who were still in the midst of battle. Fast forward 11 years: Dwight D. Eisenhower, former Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe during the war had been elected President of the United States...

September 21, 2021

The corpse of Gabby Petito lies under a small plastic canopy somewhere in the 300,000 acres of Grand Teton National Park. Her thousands of YouTube and Instagram followers are shocked. One of them commenting, "she's so young and looked so happy!" Oh, yes, the couple did look happy. They posted pictures and videos of themselves in beautiful places, dancing, kissing, and just generally living an amazing life as they traveled together posting constantly to their 126,000 followers. No one knows what went wrong. Who posts pictures of themselves with a swollen face after being hit by their spouse, or videos of taking out the garbage? Nope.

September 7, 2021

Seriously, with the crisis in Afghanistan, the hurricane Ida floods, and shootings in the streets, I have been blown-away by all the bad news. So, I began purposefully looking for a shot of encouragement--something big.Turns out, a man named Eliot Middleton filled the bill. In a small fishing town in South Carolina, the former mechanic decided to start his own restaurant, cooking ribs in a sauce recipe handed down from his great-great-grandmother in 1892. Anyway, a few years ago, this big-hearted guy organized a food drive during tough economic times. As expected, cars lined up around the restaurant to get free food. But after all the food was gone, there was still a line...

August 23, 2021

As Mayor Joe Hogsett announced a $166.5 million anti-violence plan that focuses heavily on public safety, I was beginning to read a book by criminologist Byron R. Johnson. His book, More God, Less Crime, assesses the many studies that have been done on the effect of religion in crime reduction. It is a subject that the many in the secular world find somewhat distasteful, relegating the very positive findings to the bottom shelf of actionable measures. Yet these findings are clear. The injection of a moral code, delivered by trusted community faith leaders in relationship with those leaning toward criminal behavior, produces dramatic change.The "Boston Miracle" of the 1990s is a case in point.

August 3, 2021

While many of us are shocked, wondering how in the world we can stop the shootings and stabbings that have infected our city, one man went right to the top and got an answer. Dr. Clyde Posley, pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church has received a word from God, and it's a word we've heard before. He quotes Jesus from Matthew 17, where He tells His disciples that "this kind of (powerful deep-seated) demon" can only be overthrown with fasting and praying. OK? Historically, fasting and praying has worked out pretty well...

July 21, 2021

In 2010 at Wishard Hospital, Dennis Irvin was diagnosed with stage three throat cancer. He was just beginning his 36-year sentence in a maximum security prison in Carlisle, IN. He was at the high point of his gang activities, which involved running a black market in three different prisons that supplied pretty much anything a prisoner wanted, including every kind of illegal drug. Five doctors entered his room and from the looks on their faces, he knew things didn't look good. The cancer had spread to his lung and from there the discussion turned to pain medication to keep him comfortable as he neared his inevitable death. But Dennis didn't die.

July 7, 2021

South West England is home to a small village named Combe Martin that snakes through a beautiful valley for a mile and a half until it culminates in the sea. The village has been holding a celebration for the past 300 years called "Hunting the Earl of Rone" .Preceded by drummers and dancers, the Combe Martin "Grenadiers" march through the town in their red uniforms to reenact the capture of an Irish Earl who fled Elizabeth 1 in 1607 and was shipwrecked nearby. Every year, the Grenadiers find him, "shoot" him, (to the cheers of the crowd) and throw him into the ocean. (It takes them approximately three hours, literally 17 firing squads, and lots of dancing to accomplish this.) But it never happened. More and more we have to look for evidence to justify the way we think about things,

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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.