By CU Today Staff
Credit unions joined with private partners and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to announce a new partnership aimed at reducing recidivism among those convicted of crimes through a financial literacy program.
During the press conference yesterday at the headquarters of Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union, Gov. Tom Wolf, along with the Department of Corrections, the Department of Banking and Securities, and the Board of Probation and Parole, joined by representatives of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and the Pennsylvania CU Foundation to announce the program.
The parties announced that five Financial Reality Fairs will be held on one day–Oct. 14–in Pennsylvania. The Reality Fairs will take place in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Erie, and Reading, and are to be part of what is being called a “pioneering program designed to reduce inmate recidivism.”
“Every year more than 20,000 people are released from our state prisons to return to their communities. One of the core challenges they face is a lack of knowledge about and access to financial services including bank accounts, credit reports, insurance and budgeting,” Gov. Tom Wolf said. “To help them succeed in the community and less likely to return to prison, it is vital that they understand these basics of money management. This program will guide reentrants through banking basics, establishing credit, avoiding predatory lending, and will make sure these individuals have the financial tools necessary to achieve a self-sustaining independence.”