DALLAS – Criminal justice reform appears to be one of the few topics on which people can find consensus in today’s increasingly polarized climate.
It even brought together one of America’s leading pastors and the chief executive of one of the country’s largest companies with a shared goal of encouraging businesses to hire rehabilitated men and women coming out of prison.
On the surface, communications giant AT&T and the Dallas-based Potter’s House megachurch don’t seem to have much in common, besides sharing a home base in Texas’s third most-populous city.
But a recent meeting hosted by a Potter’s House ministry placed church pastors right alongside corporate CEOs with a challenge to transform communities and change lives.
“When the floods came in Houston, we were there. In Haiti, we were there. In South America, we were there,” said Potter’s House pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes concerning recent humanitarian responses. “You’d be surprised what a bunch of church folk can do.”
Jakes made his remarks at a luncheon to support the Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative, a church program to help former inmates.
Since its founding in 2005, TORI has assisted more than 20,000 people with housing, employment, and helping them reintegrate back into society.
When Jakes met AT&T’s Randall Stephenson two years ago, he pressed the executive to find solutions to commonplace obstacles ex-offenders encounter upon release. AT&T responded with a pilot program to help qualified, formerly incarcerated prisoners find employment at one of their Dallas-area call centers.
Click here to read more.