The Power of Reentry: Returning Strong

Apr 03, 2023   |  By Simone Price

At every turn, people returning to their communities after incarceration are told to be realistic, to do all they can, to be prepared for disappointment, and to set minimal expectations.

But what if we could replace these lowered expectations with the equity and opportunity everyone should have access to?

What if there was not a disparate picture of opportunity based on where you lived, but a unified vision to connect, support and empower people who have lived experience with the criminal justice system that enabled them to return strong?

CEO believes that everyone, regardless of conviction history, should be able to enjoy full participation in society. This includes having access to resources, support, and opportunities for social and economic mobility.

Achieving this ideal will require not only a change to systems, but a change in our current narrative.

Today, CEO officially launches Returning Strong, a campaign calling for a new, collective narrative about reentry that rejects the stigma associated with system involvement and instead amplifies the talent, heart and voice of the people we serve all across the country.

In 2022, CEO hosted a virtual rally called, “Returning Strong,” to raise awareness about the untapped power of reentry cash assistance. What started out as a single event, has become an inspiring lens through which we see our mission as an organization.

For over 25 years, CEO has led the way as the nation’s largest reentry employment provider.

Upon our founding as a nonprofit in 1996, CEO’s rigorously evaluated program model took an innovative, person-first approach to reentry and was aptly tagged, “Change that Works.”

Returning Strong marks CEO’s commitment to leading the needed change in the national conversation about what it means to be a person with lived experience. Featuring stories of success, resilience, and dignity, the Returning Strong campaign will offer a deeper, yet fresh perspective on the meaningful progress being made in CEO offices across the country.

We hope you will join us in engaging with and sharing the stories and experiences that amplify the talent, heart and voice of the people we serve all across the country that exemplify Returning Strong for Second Chance Month, and beyond.

Lookout for the hashtag #ReturningStrong across CEO Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and go to to follow the campaign.


Simone Price

Director of Organizing