Ex-offenders share thoughts on how to reduce crime in Danville

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - Ex-offenders are sharing their thoughts on how to reduce crime and violence in Danville.

On Tuesday, an ex-offender job and resource fair was held at the Danville Community Market.

One ex-offender, Marty Jackson, said the city should ban companies from asking applicants if they've been convicted of a crime. He believes that would encourage ex-offenders to become productive citizens and that would help set a positive example in the community that could help encourage others not to get involved in crime.

"That would give more ex-offenders the opportunity and the determination to go forward and try hard and to get jobs," Jackson emphasized. "When doors are closing in your face over and over again, it's discouraging."

Southwest Cares Community Action, Inc. of Pittsylvania County organized the fair.

Case manager Barry Mayo said the first fair in 2015 resulted in more than 100 ex-offenders getting gainful employment and he is confident this year will be even better.

"We have more employers, we have more resources," Mayo emphasized. "This is becoming something that we definitely need because these citizens, they do matter."

SCCA, Inc. volunteers also provided information for ex-offenders about healthcare, food, and housing.

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