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Friday Forums

In Partnership with Prison Fellowship

The COVID-19 Impact on the Criminal Justice System: Amplifying the Need for Second Chances

Video Conference

In preparation for Second Chance Month (April), Prison Fellowship’s Heather Rice-Minus will present 2019 Barna polling regarding Christian perceptions about crime, incarceration and second chances. A panel including will respond with theological and policy implications and action steps.

The following resources will be referred to during the panel discussion:


What is Second Chance Month?

Every person has dignity and potential. But approximately 1 in 3 American adults has a criminal record, which limits their access to education, jobs, housing, and other things they need to reach that potential. Since launching the first Second Chance® Month in 2017, Prison Fellowship® has spearheaded the nationwide effort to raise awareness about these barriers and unlock brighter futures for people with a criminal record. Together we can open the door for approximately 70 million Americans to live up to their potential after paying their debt to society!


Heather Rice-Minus serves as vice president of government affairs and church mobilization at Prison Fellowship, the nation's largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families. She is a powerful, knowledgeable voice articulating the case for restorative criminal justice solutions. A native of Virginia, Rice-Minus resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband and daughter. Prior to her tenure at Prison Fellowship, she managed advocacy efforts on behalf of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. She is a graduate of Colorado State University and George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. She is a member of the Virginia State Bar and a Colson Fellow.

Dan Kingery serves as the Executive Vice President of Field Programs at Prison Fellowship. Dan oversees all of Prison Fellowship's prison-based programming. He has 30 years of experience working in prisons and community-based corrections and has held various leadership roles with Prison Fellowship since 2000. He has served as a parole officer in the adult and juvenile systems in Iowa. He is a graduate of Iowa State University. He and his wife of 35 years have one daughter and share a love of outdoor activities.

    Megan Harrington currently serves as a Legislative Assistant in the office of U.S. Senator Rob Portman and has worked in the Senate for more than 9 years. In this role, she leads Senator Portman’s work to on criminal justice reform and reentry. The Second Chance Act (SCA) supports state, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations in their work to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for people returning from state and federal prisons, local jails, and juvenile facilities.

    Megan has led the drafting and coalition support for 12 bipartisan bills that have been signed into law, including the reauthorization of the Senate Chance Act in 2018. SESTA was enacted in April 2018 and makes it illegal to knowingly assist, facilitate, or support sex trafficking, by amending the Section 230 safe harbors of the Communications Decency Act (which make online services immune from civil liability for the actions of their users). Other areas of legislative success include bills combatting human trafficking, child exploitation, and opioid abuse. Prior to working in the Senate, Megan worked as a special prosecutor for domestic violence in Toledo, Ohio. She is graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law.

    Jon Kelly grew up in Philadelphia, PA and has spent more than two-thirds of his life in the criminal justice system. He came to faith in Christ while serving a six– to 20-year prison sentence for his role in a shooting that left a young man dead. He has devoted his life to advocating for those who are currently and formerly incarcerated and shedding light on issues within the justice system. Kelly currently serves as the lead pastor of Chicago West Bible Church on the Westside of Chicago, where he resides with his wife Danielle and their two sons Benjamin and Judah.