Partners in Hope: A journey of second chances

When law enforcement and ex-offenders come together, good things can happen

CONTACT: Michael Jahr, Badger Institute vice president, at 262-442-5208 or at

Nov. 14, 2018 — Imagine a prisoner reentry program where the mentors include an FBI agent and a former federal prosecutor. Or a graduation ceremony where ex-offenders are encouraged, cheered and hugged not just by family and friends but by police officers, prison officials and judges. Imagine what could happen if the law enforcement community partnered with nonprofit organizations and employers to increase the likelihood of successful transition back to the community.

The video below tells the story of Partners in Hope, a new reentry program in Milwaukee that has made this vision a reality. Partners in Hope is modeled after a remarkable Las Vegas program, Hope for Prisoners, that has reduced recidivism, restored dignity and delivered healing to the community. Both programs aim to break the cycle of incarceration.

Wisconsin incarcerates more than 23,000 adults, most of whom will return to their communities in less than five years. Another 65,000 are on probation or parole. Under the status quo, nearly 30 percent will end up back behind bars within three years. But when these individuals, with the help of organizations like Partners in Hope, transition successfully from prison to productivity, everyone benefits, including taxpayers, families, communities and employers.

Click here or on the image above to see how Partners in Hope is helping to change the narrative.