The Southwestern Pennsylvania Re-entry Coalition (SPARC)
The Southwestern Pennsylvania Re-entry Coalition (SPARC) was formed as an effort 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
1 Identify potential career paths, excluding those from which individuals with criminal backgrounds are banned by law
2 Increase the number of employers willing to hire formerly incarcerated individuals through education of incentive programs
3 Train and prepare individuals using surveys, workforce development curricula, best practice learning methodology, and vocational training
4 Address policy issues through information and advocacy
5 Increase connectivity across three levels of the justice system (county, state, federal)
“How to Get and Clean Up Your PA Rap Sheet”: A workshop on how important it is for a job seeker to get and look over their criminal record before beginning their job search. You will learn how to assist job seekers as they access their criminal record, review it for errors, understand what can be expunged, and learn about the pardon process in Pennsylvania.
“Train the Trainer”: Lunch and Learn 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 prisoner re-entry process and job seekers going through that process, providing strategies and solutions to effectively reintegrate individuals with criminal backgrounds into Southwestern PA communities.