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.

October 7, 2022

What is it to have a second chance? UNITE INDY's web site gives men and women access to a new future—one that is a gateway to a financially secure life, that opens doors to having successful relationships, raising successful children, and becoming self-sufficient and independent.But second chances are only for those who are willing to do the work. There are a lot of ways to end up inside, but most incarcerated people are not 'lifers.'

September 22, 2022

Year after year, exorbitant interest fees and onerous, unrealistic balloon payments are draining money from the meager earnings of Indiana's most financially vulnerable citizens. Even small financial emergencies regularly take working people and military families down the path to bankruptcy because they must turn to payday predatory lenders, whose schemes trap borrowers in a never-ending cycle of debt...

September 6, 2022

Over the last five decades, allegations of abuse combined with the reality of funding shortages caused the closings of mental hospitals here and across the country. It was probably time for a reset, but the pendulum swung too far, cutting services for many who have needed a hospital environment. When mental health problems are not addressed, we see increased addiction issues, self harm, and violence against others. Those with addictions, or violent tendencies often end up in incarceration over and over again.

August 22, 2022

A man accused of fatally shooting a police officer made a song about killing a cop, then he did it. Early on a Sunday morning he shot 24 year old Elwood Officer Noah Shahnavaz (pictured) in the face. According to the shooter's rap sheet, (which included the term SVF for 'serious violent felon') he had served 9 prison sentences.But Noah has plenty of company. Targeted shootings at police officers are up 43% this year compared to the same time period in 2021 and up 63% compared to 2020. Gone are the days of Barney Fife. Long gone.

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.

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.