The Southwestern Pennsylvania Re-entry Coalition (SPARC) was created by Mon Valley Initiative to coordinate resources for individuals whose criminal record creates barriers to self-sufficiency, through collaboration among agencies in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
SPARC brings representatives from these participating organizations together to find the best way to provide formerly incarcerated individuals with the services and resources they need to successfully re-enter society and the workforce.
SPARC Priority Areas
- Identify potential career paths, excluding those from which individuals with criminal backgrounds are banned by law
- Increase the number of employers willing to hire formerly incarcerated individuals through education about incentive programs
- Address policy issues through information and advocacy
- Increase connectivity across three levels of the justice system (county, state, federal)
Past and Ongoing Events
- “Leadership and Empowerment Conference”: A conference designed to inspire ex-offenders and help them explore the possibilities of life. The conference offers powerful speakers that bring inspiration and empowerment as well as community partners that provide information and resources.
- “Lunch & Learns”: Informal sessions for agencies wanting to learn more about critical issues facing formerly incarcerated individuals and innovative strategies to address them.
- “Life Without Bars”: A conference for agencies who contribute to the re-entry process and job seekers going through that process, providing strategies and solutions to effectively reintegrate individuals with criminal backgrounds into Southwestern Pennsylvania communities.