Second chance

Publish date 31-03-2023

by Chiara Genisio

At least once in our life we have hoped for a second chance.
To remedy an error, an oversight, an offense and much more. For those who live in prison, having a new opportunity should be the sense of punishment itself. Our Constitution clearly states this.
Between overcrowding, dilapidated structures, understaffing and low funds very often, and in too many prisons, this does not happen.

But there are those who do not give up, like Flavia Filippi, judicial reporter for TgLa7, who, day after day, investigating and telling the stories of many prisoners, had the idea of offering a second chance. A chance that comes through training and work, which not only supports but offers dignity. Here then she, with a group of colleagues and friends, founded the Second Chance association and began to propose to entrepreneurs to "exploit" the economic advantages provided for by law 123/2020, known as the Smuragalia Law. A rule that provides for relief and concessions for those who hire prisoners.

Since the beginning of 2021 you have consistently surveyed companies, sector associations, employment agencies, public institutions and other realities that might be interested in the topic. You have found entrepreneurs who didn't know about this option, others who weren't interested in it.
But those who said yes, who decided to join, once taken to prison for interviews with the candidates, were literally transformed. They realized that prisoners are people like any other, only that they were wrong.
Builders, restaurateurs, merchants have experienced first-hand that humanity also exists behind bars. Sometimes seeing and touching makes all the difference. Countless emails continue to arrive every day at, a shower of requests for help from prisoners nearing the end of their sentence.

Since it has been operational, the association has already offered a "second chance" to about 140 people.
Beyond Rome, where it was born, Seconda Chance is offering work and training in Turin, Monza, Bollate, Opera, Venice, Florence, Pescara, Civitavecchia, Rieti, Frosinone, Velletri, Secondigliano, Reggio Calabria, Messina, Agrigento.
Projects in progress also for Puglia and Sardinia. In recent months, the Head of the Penitentiary Administration Department signed a collaboration protocol with Seconda Chance, thus including the third sector association among the "official" entities that offer job opportunities to those in prison.

Chiara Genisio
NP January 2023

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