Jim's Quotes

Quote of the Month: December 2023

"Most of them were bleeding, and we did nothing to stop the bleeding"
—Phil Moore

“Most of them were bleeding, and we did nothing to stop the bleeding”
—Phil Moore


Phil Moore understands formerly imprisoned people better than most. He has what the trade calls “lived experience,” which means he has been incarcerated and understands the reentrant mindset in a way others cannot. Some time ago, during a meeting to discuss and critique a Jobs for Life class, Phil patiently waited as those around the table dissected the course content and how it was received. When he finally spoke, he sadly said the words above.

He was right. We knew he was right, and we were stopped in our tracks. 

We’d been pitching reentrants the value of work and what it would mean to have a redeemed life, but their minds were somewhere else. Whatever trauma had led them to incarceration—and there is almost always trauma in the backgrounds of inmates—it was still there, shuttering their minds, keeping them locked in a cycle of distrust, sadness, anger, and worry. They were still bleeding, and before anything else, they needed healing.

If you had had a regular seat in the theater of danger, abuse, hunger and poverty, if your safety depended upon joining with kids who carried weapons and finally you had used one and ended up in a jail or prison, what would you need when you got out after a decade or more? After years of being housed and fed, a reentrant must find housing, food, and employment, and deal with issues like family unification, transportation, addiction recovery, and mental and physical health care. Far too often, they have to do it on their own, and far too often they fail.

So, today, following Phil’s words, we have joined with members of mentoring organizations who are trained to walk with reentrants as they adjust to a new life. 2nd Chance Indiana’s partner mentors see reentrants as human beings with a future and a hope, and act as a friend, encourager, and advisor. This is what stops the bleeding—the constantly strengthening collaboration between the mentor and the reentrant, who is working toward a normalized and productive life.

2nd Chance Indiana is committed to helping those facing the challenge of reentry. Meanwhile, Phil continues to work closely with us. He is not only a good man, he is a wise man and I’m sure he’ll continue to let us know if there is a better path.



Recent Posts


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.