Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $96,000)
Marion County Prosecutor’s Office
Second Chance Workshop Initiative
Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana, as well as its capital and the seat of Marion County. Marion County is the 51st most populated county in the country with just over 971,000 residents living within roughly 396 square miles. Indianapolis is rated as a car-dependent city with a walk score of 31(out of 100), a transit score of 25, and a bike score of 43. To reliably access work, school, and shopping, residents need to be able to drive.
In 2019, there were approximately 330,000 suspended driver’s licenses in Indiana according to the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, and the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles reported that of those, 118,792 belonged to Marion County residents. Most suspensions were due to the economic burdens of poverty such as failing to pay fines due to minor driving violations, or fees associated with failure to appear in court.
Navigating the reinstatement process in Indiana is complicated, cumbersome, opaque and expensive, and many residents are unable to resolve suspensions on their own.
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office (MCPO) introduced its Second Chance Workshop Initiative (SCW) in response to this issue. The SCW project is focused on community outreach designed to help those who have had interactions with the justice system remove barriers to economic mobility and self-sufficiency. The SCW events feature pro-bono attorneys and other subject matter experts who work with participants on-site to navigate the reinstatement process.
Because the need for reinstatement assistance is so great, MCPO is aggressively expanding its SCW program to increase its reach to residents whose licenses have been suspended due to a series of minor infractions or misdemeanors. A program manager will be dedicated to the initiative, and this position will be responsible for the management and coordination of the program including growth in the number of events held annually, an increase in the geographic location of events to reach throughout the county, development of an awareness campaign, oversight of pre- and post- event follow-up to ensure excellent constituent service, and the development and implementation of the data collection process.
The program manager’s responsibilities will cover 1) strategic planning, communication tactics and deployment; 2) event development, organization, and execution; 3) post-event follow-up and action planning; and 4) the development of a consistent data collection and reporting process.
MCPO expects to conduct 24 events annually and serve 4,000 – 6,000 residents.