GEO Board Member Jack Brewer Hosts Second Chance Brunch

April is National Second Chance Month, which highlights and reaffirms the need for us as a nation to assist those individuals who were formerly incarcerated. At The GEO Group, we are focused on continually looking for opportunities to positively assist individuals who are returning to and living in our communities. 

In the 2022 Presidential Proclamation recognizing “Second Chance Month,” President Biden focused on taking a holistic approach and wrote that “it requires quality job training and educational opportunities during incarceration.”

For years, GEO has taken the lead in providing “quality job training and educational opportunities.” Over the last five years alone, more than 11,000 residents in our facilities have earned their high school equivalency or GED certificate. Additionally, more than 20,000 individuals  have earned nationally recognized and certified vocational certifications in a variety of areas including Commercial Driver’s License, Barbering, Hospitality, Technology Support, Culinary Arts, and more.

The Jack Brewer Foundation and The GEO Group hosted a Second Chance brunch in Weston, Florida on April 9, 2022 to highlight second chances through employment. GEO’s Chief Executive Officer, Jose Gordo, and GEO Continuum of Care® Executive Vice President, Derrick Schofield, were in attendance. Mr. Brewer challenged attendees to contribute to reforming America’s employment and long-term economic growth by hiring returning citizens. A Second Chance panel comprised of GEO Continuum of Care® graduates provided personal testimonies about their reentry journeys and the second chances they have been afforded. 

Elmo Golden, a panel member and GEO Continuum of Care® alumnus, who is now the CEO of Dignity Speaks, reflected on his second chance with the group by sharing a verse from Matthew 25:35, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

He further added, “I remember every person who extended a hand of gratitude to me while behind the fence. GEO allowed me to find freedom while I was still incarcerated. There are people at GEO who ­really care.” 

Amlak-I Foley, Post-Release Case Manager and GEO Alumnus, added that “everyone deserves a second and sometimes third chance; I know I did. It’s with this spirit I step into the Post-Release call center daily. It’s this spirit of second chances that drives me to answer each call and help each participant as if it will be the last thing I do on earth.” 

GEO’s Chief Executive Officer, Jose Gordo, spoke during the brunch, saying “at GEO, we are committed to second chances. By extending second chances to justice involved individuals and removing unnecessary barriers to success, we unlock avenues for productive citizenship and create safer and more prosperous neighborhoods. The great American Poet, Maya Angelou, once said ‘I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” 

During this Second Chance Month, let us all renew and strengthen our commitment to helping those reentering society do better.

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