LOUISVILLE, KY. – As a champion in the second-chance space, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky is proud to celebrate Second Chance Month in April, a time to raise awareness and improve perceptions of justice-involved individuals, encourage second-chance opportunities and fair-chance hiring and drive momentum for policy change throughout the country.

Goodwill began embracing the reentry population in 2018 and has since strived to provide a hand up, not a handout, for individuals reintegrating back into society following incarceration. Among those initiatives is its expungement program, which provides free legal assistance and pays record certification and filing fees to finalize expungements for qualifying justice-involved Kentuckians. Since its inception, more than 8,500 records have been expunged. To help make the expungement process even easier, Goodwill partnered with Easy Expunctions, a leading expungement provider, to create the Erase Program. Erase leverages Easy Expunctions’ technology to provide an online option for expungement.

In 2023, Goodwill joined the Clean Slate Initiative and a coalition of state and local organizations to advocate for reforms that would alleviate the workload on courts and county officials by automating the process of expungement under current Kentucky law, while preserving public safety by still allowing for prosecutorial review of serious cases. This culminated in the introduction of HB 569/SB 218, also known as “the Clean Slate Act,” introduced by Rep. Kevin Bratcher (R-Louisville) and Sen. Brandon Storm (R-London).

“Goodwill Industries of Kentucky has helped to expunge over 8,500 records since the inception of its expungement program,” said Dennis Ritchie, senior director of reentry for Goodwill. “We allocate funding for this purpose and engage in this work because we understand the dignity of being able to have lunch with your child at school and the pride that comes with being able to support yourself and your family by gaining full-time employment that pays a living wage. We want to thank our partners at Legal Aid Society, Kentucky Legal Aid, Legal Aid of the Bluegrass, AppalReD Legal Aid, the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy and the Kentucky Department of Corrections for their assistance in lifting up our communities.”

Goodwill’s newest reentry initiative is the Aspire Program, which assists justice-involved individuals with training during their incarceration and after their release with the goal of lowering recidivism and obtaining self-sufficiency. The program, which is funded by a $3,995,264 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Pathway Home 4 Program, is providing 400 incarcerated individuals with pre-release job training and supportive services. Once released from prison, Goodwill guides participants through barrier-removal services, job placement, career coaching, family reunification and holistic resources.

“Aspire is a unique reentry program in the commonwealth that assists justice-involved individuals during and after incarceration,” said Ritchie. “Aspire will reduce recidivism and help individuals gain self-sufficiency by providing them with a self-supporting income. This will uplift these individuals and their families and will make our communities safer at the same time.”

Throughout April, the nonprofit will showcase its reentry services by hosting “Second Chance Days” at its statewide Opportunity Centers, which will feature legal aid services and other second-chance resources. Goodwill will also house a reentry simulation at its new West Louisville Opportunity Center, located on the Norton Healthcare Goodwill Opportunity Campus, to bring to light the challenges faced by formerly incarcerated individuals when reentering society.

See below for information pertaining to the Second Chance Month events across the commonwealth:

Morehead Second Chance Day

  • Thursday, April 11, 1-3 p.m.
  • 330 Pinecrest Dr., Morehead, KY 40351

Pikeville Second Chance Day

  • Thursday, April 11, Noon-2 p.m.
  • 126 Trivette Dr., Suite 104, Pikeville, KY 41501

Somerset Second Chance Day

  • Thursday, April 11, 10 a.m.-Noon
  • 5828 South Hwy. 27, Somerset, KY 42501

Bowling Green Second Chance Day

  • Thursday, April 11, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • 1806 US 31W Bypass, Bowling Green, KY 42101

Metro Louisville Second Chance Day

  • Wednesday, April 17, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • 909 East Broadway, Louisville, KY 40204

Corbin Second Chance Day

  • Wednesday, April 17, 10 a.m.-Noon
  • 37 South Park Center Dr., Suites 11 & 12, Corbin, KY 40701

Paducah Second Chance Day

  • Thursday, April 18, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • 1601 Broadway St., Paducah, KY 42001

Lexington Second Chance Day

  • Thursday, April 18, Noon-2 p.m.
  • 130 West New Circle Rd., Suite 110, Lexington, KY 40505

Elizabethtown Second Chance Day

  • Friday, April 19, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • 243 West Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701

South Louisville Second Chance Day

  • Friday, April 19, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • 6201 Preston Hwy., Suite A, Louisville, KY 40219

West Louisville Reentry Simulation (invitation only)

  • Friday, April 19, 10 a.m.-Noon
  • 2820 West Broadway, Louisville, KY 40211

West Louisville Speaker Series Dinner celebrating the close of Second Chance Month

  • Tuesday, April 30, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • 2820 West Broadway, Louisville, KY 40211

For more information about Goodwill’s reentry services, visit GoodwillKY.org.

About Goodwill Industries of Kentucky

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky is a 100-year-old nonprofit organization that operates in 103 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. The organization is committed to using resources from its 67 retail stores to help build pathways out of poverty for individuals who need a hand up in life. In 2023, Goodwill helped place 3,185 Kentuckians into jobs with its 1,330 employer partners and inside its own retail stores. Goodwill uses approximately 90 cents from every dollar generated in its retail stores to operate programs and services that help Kentucky’s hardest-to-serve job seekers build the life they desire.