Blog Posts

Five Years Old: Our Disappointments, Mistakes, & Goals Realized

January 23. 2023

UNITE INDY started in December, 2016, so we have recently passed our 5th anniversary! Yes, five years of disappointments, mistakes and some smashing successes (if we do say so ourselves).

UNITE INDY started in December, 2016, so we have recently passed our 5th anniversary! Yes, five years of disappointments, mistakes and some smashing successes (if we do say so ourselves). :) All those things have worked to elevate our ability to impact poverty as we find employment for those who are reentering society after incarceration.

Early on, as we developed an online resource list for reentrants, we found that others working in the field were not interested in sharing information. Disappointing as it was, we got to work and developed our own content with hundreds of resources, which is the now the most comprehensive reentrant resource support data base in Central Indiana—online for anyone to see, use or copy. Whether it is help for drug abatement, housing issues, family support, or just about anything else, it's online at

Also disappointing, was that trying to get churches to work together turned out to be tougher than we thought, and finding mentor volunteers and inmate correspondents from most were a challenge. But some have joined the ranks and those that have are awesome in their zeal to connect and care for people behind bars.

Mistakes have been made. Because of COVID, our efforts to teach in prisons in person have largely been curtailed. It didn't start as a mistake, but today, with a concern about new virus strains and other limitations, what didn't work out has led us to new and better ways to both teach and mentor. Under development is a plan to put tablets in the hands of those ready for job training. Mentors will be available virtually.

Under the "goals realized" column was the creation of, built because national studies proved that a good paying job, found quickly after release from incarceration reduces recidivism by 90 Percent. It is Indiana's only jobs website for those with a criminal background. There, reentrants can get job descriptions, pay scales, and all other important information, and then: Apply right online!

But we needed more jobs. So, UNITE INDY provided support for a Butler/Lacy School of Business study to determine if those with a criminal record really made good employees. After a year of researching employment records, the study found that there is "no statistical difference between an employee with a criminal record and one without." BINGO. This led to a dramatic increase in jobs listed on the site. As of last month, we have 41 employer-partners listing jobs, and a UNITE INDY employee inside the Marion County jail, meeting reentrants and helping them with job applications immediately upon release.

But getting people to and from work was still a problem and a disappointment to us when some of our successfully employed reentrants quit or were fired because they couldn't reliably get to work. With that realization, the UNITE INDY Transportation Program was born. This year we'll have close to 20 vans taking reentrants to jobs all over Central Indiana.

We've formed reentrant employment efforts with the City of Indianapolis, the State of Indiana, and entities in Marion, Howard, Boone, Shelby and Tipton Counties—with more on the way. We are grateful everyday for the caring support of government personnel, for our partner employers, and other non-profits who work in tandem with UNITE INDY to address this complicated and important societal issue in a way that benefits the taxpayer, the reentrant, and maybe most importantly, their children.

We're just getting started,

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.