Welcome

Welcome To Community Success Initiative

 

Living the Legacy

 

"In 2000, Dennis Gaddy, a business man and law school graduate, found himself serving more than five years in jail for a poor financial decision. Gaddy turned his situation into a message, creating the Community Success Initiative in 2004."
Read more at http://www.wral.com/news/local/video/15325841/#KOID51j4lmizy7FL.99 

 

 November 02, 2015,  President Obama Speaks on the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Formerly Incarcerated Individuals.

Community Success Initiative (CSI) was founded as a non-profit corporation in May 2004 with a vision to work with men and women who are transitioning from prison and jail, or who otherwise find themselves entangled in the criminal justice system.

Our Focus

  1. Assisting those who are entangled in the criminal justice sytem to get back on their feet

  2. Reducing crime in the community.

Community Success Initiative recently featured on WRAL-TV and Fox-50 "Tarheel Talk", see following video clip.

 

CSI 11th year aniversary Triangle Tribune article

Click here to read the article, in pdf format, outlining the achivements of CSI over the last 11 years by the Triangle Tribune, Raleigh NC.  

 

CSI Second Chance Program

To read about our program of "Second Chances"  click to get details here. If you, or you know someone who is interested in our program, you can feel free to contact us at 919-715-0111, ext 216 or email us at inquiry@communitysuccess.org

 

Check out our CSI "Who We Are" and "What We Do" overview video below.

Donate Now, If you are for Second Chances

Your generosity helps to continue the work of Community Success Initiative. You can use your debit or credit card to make a tax-deductible donation today and help support our work. A donation of any amount would go a long way. You can also mail your donation to Community Success Initiative PO Box 61114 Raleigh, NC 27661. Please feel free to pass along this email to others in your network. Thank you for your ongoing support.

You can use your debit or credit card to make a tax-deductible donation today!

 

Download our 501(c)(3) Form

National NAACP President Arrested with Hundreds at U.S. Capitol Published on Apr 20, 2016

April 18th, 2016 - Immediately following their release from arrest at the U.S. Capitol, Moral Monday Architect, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II; HKonJ Coalition Coordinator, Rev. Curtis E. Gatewood; and National NAACP President, Cornell William Brooks are joined by Larry Cohen, President of Communications Workers of America and Aaron Mair, President of Sierra Club, to discuss why they risked arrest as a part of Democracy Awakening.

 

A Tribute To Darryl Hunt

For nearly 20 years, Darryl Hunt fought for his freedom while in prison for a crime he did not commit. After being exonerated in 2004, our brother committed his life to fighting for the freedom of others caught in an unjust system.

Hunt appeared to have died  from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said Wednesday.  The Criminal Investigations Division has assumed the investigation and will be releasing more information as the investigation progresses.

During Monday night’s City Council meeting, City Council Member Dan Besse spoke about Hunt’s passing, saying the city has lost a community leader.

 Click here to read the rest of the story

 

Opinion: Criminal Justice Reform Must Include Civil Legal Assistance


"The effort is part of a nationwide trend toward dramatically reducing our country’s bloated prison population, which includes a long-awaited, bipartisan federal criminal justice reform bill. As our country moves toward reversing decades of overly harsh sentences for non-violent crimes and mandatory “three strikes” life sentences, criminal justice reform packages must also incorporate civil legal assistance for those newly released from prison." To read the rest of this report by the Justice Center click here 

 

Return on a Chance

Daryl Atkinson, Department of Justice Second Chance Fellow, and CSI member/supporter, has started a DOJ blog reporting his new perspectives and opportunities that he finds to "facilitate successful reentry by continuing to create secondary support systems with evidence-based reentry programming and public policies that remove obstacles to reintegration, thereby giving formerly incarcerated people a real opportunity at a second chance." Read his blog here

 

The "Big Picture" regarding mass incarceration in the US

Wait, does the United States have 1.4 million or more than 2 million people in prison? And do the 636,000 people released every year include the people getting out of local jails? Frustrating questions like these abound because our systems of federal, state, local, and other types of confinement — and the data collectors that keep track of them — are so fragmented. There is a lot of interesting and valuable research out there, but varying definitions and other incompatibilities make it hard — for both people new to criminal justice and for experienced policy wonks — to get the big picture. Read more about it here

 

This is No Time for Foolishness!

October 10th, 2015 - In his annual "The State of the State of Civil Rights" address, North Carolina NAACP President, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II details the devastating policies that are affecting North Carolinians and makes a stern charge to the state membership at the 72nd Annual Convention for the NAACP state conference. Watch video here

 

Giving Back: Step Up Ministry

A nonprofit in our state is on a mission to help people in Durham find work. Step Up Ministry is opening a new office in the Bull City, targeting those who have had hardships in life. Time Warner Cable News anchor Anthony Austin explains in this week's Giving Back, watch video here.

 

Finding Solutions For Mass Incarceration

Raleigh NC WUNC Radio program, "The State Of Things" podcast here.  Host Frank Stasio talks with James Williams, Orange County public defender; Heather Thompson, professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Michigan; Tamar Birckhead, professor of law at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law; Dennis Gaddy, executive director of Community Success Initiative; and John Chisholm, district attorney of Milwaukee.


Mass incarceration in America report

Welcome to the special report "Mass incarceration in America" that appeared in the January/February issue of "The American Prospect" which you can view here

 

Julian Bond, Former N.A.A.C.P. Chairman and Civil Rights Leader, Dies at 75

Julian Bond, a charismatic figure of the 1960s civil rights movement, a lightning rod of the anti-Vietnam War campaign and a lifelong champion of equal rights, notably as chairman of the N.A.A.C.P., died on Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. He was 75. Click here to read the NY Times obit. 

 

States Rethink Restrictions on Food Stamps, Welfare for Drug Felons

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are serving time for drug offenses—nearly a half-million according to the latest numbers available, from 2013. For many like Waller, leaving prison with a felony conviction on their record adds to the hurdles they face re-entering society. A 1996 federal law blocks felons with drug convictions from receiving welfare or food stamps unless states choose to waive the restrictions. Click here to read the entire article.

 

NCATR - NC Access to Recovery

NC Access to Recovery (NC ATR) is a voucher program that extends the current array of services and availability of providers in the state by providing treatment and recovery support services through the use of grant funds so participants can choose their services and providers freely and independently. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (SAMHSA-CSAT) awarded the ATR
three-year grant to the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services (DMHDDSAS) in October 2014. The Division is contracting with Recovery Communities of North Carolina to implement this initiative.

Click here to read more.

 

 Justice Department Announces First-Ever Second Chance Fellow, our Daryl Atkinson.

"During the meeting, I had the distinct pleasure of announcing Daryl Atkinson as DOJ’s first-ever Second Chance Fellow.  This position was designed to bring in a person with expertise as a leader in the criminal justice field – and as a formerly incarcerated individual.  Recognizing that many of those directly impacted by the criminal justice system hold significant insight into reforming the justice system, the Bureau of Justice Assistance – led by Director Denise O’Donnell – released a competitive solicitation that led to Daryl’s selection." http://www.justice.gov/opa/blog/second-chances-vital-criminal-justice-reform

 A moment of opportunity for criminal justice reform

"Building on recent momentum in reforming our criminal justice system, the Obama administration announced the launch of a new pilot program that will make it possible for incarcerated Americans to receive Pell Grants and pursue postsecondary education while in prison. Research shows that college in prison programs do more than reduce recidivism: They prepare students to get good jobs, support their families, and be active members of society." Click here to read more.

 

Be sure to visit our CSI Blog. We have a new contributor, Elizabeth Renter, who writes professionally for various publications. Welcome her to our CSI family.

 

Click here to view exciting news at CSI!—Job Fair held recently only for those wrestling with a Criminal Record.

 

News & Observer Newspaper, Raleigh NC, report on Second Chance Lobby Day

Groups such as CSI with the N.C. Second Chance Alliance to urge legislators to pass several bills that would give people with criminal records a better chance at a getting a job and staying out of prison. Read more here

 

Recent Reentry Forum, Burlington, NC June 6, 2015

 

Pic l-r : David Guice, Commissioner, Adult Corrections and Juvenile Justice, North Carolina Dept Of Public Safety, NC House Representative Garland Pierce, and current Leader of NC legislative Black Caucus, and Dennis Gaddy, Executive Director, Community Success Initiative

 

'Second Chance' laws sought. WRAL Fox News Station Raleigh NC, report by Laura Leslie

Advocates for people with criminal records are calling for changes to state laws they say make it nearly impossible for former convicts to become productive members of society once they've finished their sentences. Read more here

 

Hot off the presses from The Sentencing Project

"The State of Sentencing 2014 highlights policy changes in 30 states and the District of Columbia in both the adult and juvenile justice systems." This pdf report file also addresses and defines future goals for consideration by the states.

 

CSI receives the City of Raleigh Human RIghts Organization Award!  Read about it here and view the photo gallery.

 

“Z. Smith Reynolds (ZSR) Foundation features CSI in recent news.

Read the ZSR article at: http://www.zsr.org/impact/103/community-success-initiative

                         

Dennis Gaddy speaking, August 23rd, 2014 - North Carolina's Forward Together Moral Week of Action continues with a focus on Education and Criminal Justice.

 

New webpage devoted to other groups, like CSI, who are working hard to make a difference.

Please click on the URL to visit it.  We want to make sure that they are recognized. http://communitysuccess.org/community-groups-link-page

NC-NAACP and HKonJ

More than 80,000 North Carolinians Rallied Outside State Capitol to set Justice-Driven Agenda at Moral March on Raleigh. Click on this link for more information on NC-NAACP and HKonJ for 2014 and 2013 http://communitysuccess.org/naacp-hkonj

 

Re-entry Toolkit -

Criminal Justice Hangout On Air video

This video features an online interview with Dennis Gaddy, discussing the usefulness of the Re-Entry Toolkit with the NAACP National Headquarter's Program Specialist Calton Mayers, who authored it.

And if you use google+ the national NAACP maintains a google+ "hangout" group at:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/ct2rma4va6pd3doi6jm8e5trc2g where this video is also presented with the interview with Dennis Gaddy. 

 

Second Chance Lobby Day a Success!

Second Chance Lobby Day II -- NC Legislature April 23, 2013

Click for details to Second Chance Lobby Day II 2013!

 

Fair Criminal Justice System | A Reason to Attend the Moral March on Raleigh

Dennis Gaddy addresses recent attempts by Legislature to bar the formerly incarcerated from the right to vote.

 

Proposed Bill 5 year Waiting for felons to vote in North Carolina

The bill’s primary sponsor, North Carolina Republican Senator E.S. “Buck” Newton of Wilson, said he considers the measure a compromise. “The long and short of it is the vast majority of people I have spoken to regarding election laws think convicted felons should not be able to vote at all,” said Newton, a Republican who represents Wilson, Nash and Johnston counties. “I think a person can make a mistake, get their lives together and show themselves to be upstanding citizens. A five-year time frame is a reasonable period to show that.”

“This is essentially voter suppression for African American males who have been most disproportionately impacted by and entangled in the criminal justice system,” said Dennis Gaddy, director of the Community Success Initiative, a Raleigh-based nonprofit that advocates on behalf of ex-offenders at the General Assembly. “Taking away the vote from the formerly incarcerated has never been designed as a punitive measure, but as a way to suppress the vote.” 

For the article at the Raleigh News and Observer regarding North Carolina Senate Bill 721

To see the content of North Carolina Senate Bill 721 bill.

To see the sponsors of North Carolina Senate Bill 721 bill.

NOTE: Due to the our advocacy efforts this bill never it out of the rules committee.

 

SECOND CHANCE ALLIANCE: Speak Out Against Felony Disenfranchisement to Preserve Our Voice

Many of us have criminal records and confront these barriers directly. Others of us have witnessed family members and neighbors struggle against these barriers. Others come to the Alliance as service providers and advocates. From these diverse backgrounds, we have joined together and with one collective voice to say, “I’m for Second Chances!” Click to read the Second Chance Alliance piece

 

PNC Bank/CSI  Financial Management class.

Photo of  our 1st  PNC Bank/CSI  Financial Management class on  April 22nd 2013, with Diana Benthall,  PNC Branch Manager, Ashton Square, Raleigh, NC (and CSI's Banker). PNC conducts monthly workshops for CSI clients.

 

Dennis Gaddy interview with NC Policy Watch Chris Fitzsimon  

Dennis Gaddy discusses Second Chances and helping formerly incarcerated people get back on their feet during an interview with NC Policy Watch Chris Fitzsimon. Click on the player arrow button below to play the podcast,  or click for a direct link to the interview.

 

 

Latest addition to CSI programs - CSI Legal Services Project

Community Success Initiative is piloting a direct legal services initiative to formerly incarcerated men and women or those currently entangled in the criminal justice system. We will work to provide legal remedies such as securing a driver’s license, obtaining certificates of relief, creating and/or modifying child support orders, and occupational licenses. Click here to read about this important project.

 

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) new rules regarding the hiring of the formerly incarcerated.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission voted to pass updated guidelines on the hiring of individuals with criminal records.  The updated guidance provides employers with greater clarity on the fair use of background checks, in order to help the vast majority of employers who are often unaware of federal civil rights laws and how criminal record based discrimination can serve as a surrogate for race based discrimination.  The guidance will also go a long way to educate jobseekers with criminal records who face tremendous challenges in navigating the expanded use of criminal background checks for employment in today’s competitive job market. Click here to read about the changes.

 

Click for our ban-the-box page.

 

Reducing Employment Barriers for People with Arrest Records and Convictions - National Employment Law Project (NELP).

Please check out this powerful Power Point presentation from Michelle Natividad Rodriguez,  National Employment Law Project,  that addresses reducing employment barriers for people with arrests and convictions. Please click for the presentation and  for the NELP homepage

 

 

Michelle Alexander, Author of "The New Jim Crow - Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness", addresses the devastating impact that the mass incarceration of Black men is having on communities.

For a study guide to this video, we have an abriged 12 page version of "The New Jim Crow" that is free, or for the complete study guide, that is complete at 75 pages, which costs $10,  it is found at: http://www.sdpconference.info

“This groundbreaking book illuminates black Americans’ lingering suspicions of the criminal justice system. The false imprisonment of black men has its history in an ignominious economic system that depended on coerced labor and didn’t flinch from savagery toward fellow human beings. Blackmon’s exhaustive reportage should put an end to the oft-repeated slander that black Americans tend toward lawlessness.” - See more at: http://www.slaverybyanothername.com/the-book/reviews/more-reviews/#sthash.V3jkoOXH.dpuf

Slavery by Another Name: The Documentary Film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and had its national broadcast on PBS on Feb. 13, 2012. Check with your local PBS station for rebroadcasts. You can also watch the film online at the link below, or go behind the scenes with “The Making of Slavery by Another Name.” - See more at: http://www.slaverybyanothername.com/pbs-film/#sthash.oWJkfxmL.dpuf

Slavery by Another Name: The Documentary Film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and had its national broadcast on PBS on Feb. 13, 2012. Check with your local PBS station for rebroadcasts. You can also watch the film online at the link below, or go behind the scenes with “The Making of Slavery by Another Name.” - See more at: http://www.slaverybyanothername.com/pbs-film/#sthash.oWJkfxmL.dpuf

Slavery by Another Name: The Documentary Film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and had its national broadcast on PBS on Feb. 13, 2012. Check with your local PBS station for rebroadcasts. You can also watch the film online at the link below, or go behind the scenes with “The Making of Slavery by Another Name.” - See more at: http://www.slaverybyanothername.com/pbs-film/#sthash.oWJkfxmL.dpuf

Slavery by Another Name: The Documentary Film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and had its national broadcast on PBS on Feb. 13, 2012. Check with your local PBS station for rebroadcasts. You can also watch the film online at the link below, or go behind the scenes with “The Making of Slavery by Another Name.” - See more at: http://www.slaverybyanothername.com/pbs-film/#sthash.oWJkfxmL.dpuf

 

Slavery by another name

Slavery by Another Name: The Documentary Film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and had its national broadcast on PBS on Feb. 13, 2012. Check with your local PBS station for re-broadcasts. You can also watch the film online at the link below, or go behind the scenes with “The Making of Slavery by Another Name.” - See more at: http://www.slaverybyanothername.com/pbs-film/

Melissa Harris-Perry and her panelists talk about where politics and the prison system converge in deciding who gets to vote, and the outcomes of the decision.

Click to view the media link

 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Bryan Stevenson: Ending the Politics of Fear and Anger


... and click to visit the Equal Justice Initiative, where various issues such as the death penalty, Incarceration of youth in adult prisons,  sentencing reform, race and poverty are discussed. 

 

"A great nation is like a great man:

When he makes a mistake, he realizes it.
Having realized it, he admits it.
Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults as his most benevolent teachers."  
- Lao Tzu

 

Please see below a variety of CSI topics of interest:

  1. For Reentry Issues and Resources
  2. For Needs and Assessment Form
  3. For Wake County Human Resource Guide-2015
  4. To read a stirring testimonial
  5. For the CSI two page brochure
  6. For directions to CSI
  7. For  CSI Legal Services Project click here
  8. For Sex offender issues
  9. For NC Access to Recovery information