The Second Chance Club
A former parole officer shines a bright light on a huge yet hidden part of our justice system through the intertwining stories of seven parolees striving to survive the chaos that awaits them after prison in this illuminating and dramatic book. Prompted by a dead-end retail job and a vague desire to increase the amount of justice in his hometown, Jason Hardy became a parole officer in New Orleans at the worst possible moment. Louisiana’s incarceration rates were the highest in the US and his department’s caseload had just been increased to 220 “offenders” per parole officer, whereas the national average is around 100. Almost immediately, he discovered that the biggest problem with our prison system is what we do—and don’t do—when people get out of prison. Deprived of social support and jobs, these former convicts are often worse off than when they first entered prison and Hardy dramatizes their dilemmas with empathy and grace. He’s given unique access to their lives and a growing recognition of their struggles and takes on his job with the hope that he can change people’s fates—but he quickly learns otherwise. The best Hardy and his colleagues can do is watch out for impending disaster and help clean up the mess left behind. But he finds that some of his charges can muster the miraculous power to save themselves. By following these heroes, he both stokes our hope and fuels our outrage by showing us how most offenders, even those with the best intentions, end up back in prison—or dead—because the system systematically fails them. Our focus should be, he argues, to give offenders the tools they need to re-enter society which is not only humane but also vastly cheaper for taxpayers. As immersive and dramatic as Evicted and as revelatory as The New Jim Crow, The Second Chance Club shows us how to solve the cruelest problems prisons create for offenders and society at large.

The Second Chance Club Details

TitleThe Second Chance Club
Author
ReleaseFeb 18th, 2020
PublisherSimon Schuster
ISBN-139781982128593
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Politics, Sociology, Adult

The Second Chance Club Review

  • Vonda
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a huge tour de force on jail and poverty. There are so many things the common person doesn't think about. Is it really jail or their home for prisoners. When they are released where do they go? How do they make a living? With SO many released at once or in close proximity is there enough jobs and housing? Thank you for such an informative read!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐At first glance this book looks like something you might pass on and you might say, I dont want to read about probation and parole. But then you might pause....taking a closer look at it and think about that one person you know or heard about thats in prison and decide Ill just take a look. And I hope that happens because I think youll enjoy it! My husband had a life sentence and has now been out of prison for over 15 years. He has the privilege of working for and representing a place 4.5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️At first glance this book looks like something you might pass on and you might say, “I don’t want to read about probation and parole.” But then you might pause....taking a closer look at it and think about that one person you know or heard about that’s in prison and decide I’ll just take a look. And I hope that happens because I think you’ll enjoy it! My husband had a life sentence and has now been out of prison for over 15 years. He has the privilege of working for and representing a place for the formally incarcerated to transition back into society. It can be done and it’s a big job but it can be done one person at a time. This book is well written and gives us a glimpse of the system at large. The author takes us through his daily duties and lets us meet all the challenges he sees and the endless struggles. Addiction, poverty, and the homeless. It’s a compelling story with his honest view of the system and I hope you struggle with it as much as I did. I definitely recommend this book and want to thank the publisher for allowing me to read this. This was a NETGALLEY gift and all opinions are my own.
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  • Kelly Long
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. This is an excellent look into the lives of parole officers and parolees. Each person ki n the author chose to focus on in the book had such varying degrees of need for social services and it is incredibly sad that these people can get the support they need. The caseloads are extremely high which makes it hard for the officer to triage the probationers. I really admire the efforts these employees Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. This is an excellent look into the lives of parole officers and parolees. Each person ki n the author chose to focus on in the book had such varying degrees of need for social services and it is incredibly sad that these people can get the support they need. The caseloads are extremely high which makes it hard for the officer to triage the probationers. I really admire the efforts these employees go to help and understand the probationers. He really points out where the system is greatly lacking and the various reasoning behind that. I highly recommend this book.
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  • Lorilin
    January 1, 1970
    For fans of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City...Before reading this book, I honestly had no idea how tough life was for the poor in New Orleans. Told from the perspective of a parole officer in the city who is working hard to keep offenders (who are mostly impoverished addicts) out of jail, author Jason Hardy writes about a few of the individuals he has worked with over the course of his career. The stories he tells are not 100% factual, but rather are dramatizations of typical For fans of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City...Before reading this book, I honestly had no idea how tough life was for the poor in New Orleans. Told from the perspective of a parole officer in the city who is working hard to keep offenders (who are mostly impoverished addicts) out of jail, author Jason Hardy writes about a few of the individuals he has worked with over the course of his career. The stories he tells are not 100% factual, but rather are dramatizations of typical people he has helped. Each vignette is eye-opening...and really depressing.The book really helped me understand the problem of addiction in this country--and it especially helped me see how much money we are wasting on prison (about $33,000 per person per year) when we could be providing adequate social services for a fraction of the cost (about $4,000 per person per year).A truly inspiring, enlightening book.Thank you Amazon Vine and Simon & Schuster for the ARC! See more of my book reviews at www.bugbugbooks.com!
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  • Jen Juenke
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much for writing this book. As a former PO myself, I have often thought that there should be a book about probation/parole that accurately describes the work.This book is scarily accurate in the depictions of the overloaded caseload, the risk/needs assessment tool, the offenders, and the burnout among PO's.You can feel the heat of the oppressive NOLA"s summer, the fine balancing act between jail and social services, and the families. I loved the book for pulling back the curtain and Thank you so much for writing this book. As a former PO myself, I have often thought that there should be a book about probation/parole that accurately describes the work.This book is scarily accurate in the depictions of the overloaded caseload, the risk/needs assessment tool, the offenders, and the burnout among PO's.You can feel the heat of the oppressive NOLA"s summer, the fine balancing act between jail and social services, and the families. I loved the book for pulling back the curtain and giving a realistic look at what is desperately needed for the criminal justice system.
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  • Karen Rush
    January 1, 1970
    An eye-opening and sobering look into our parole system by a former insider, a book that everyone should read. Hardys client stories broke my heart. So many good people who become P.O.s with intentions to make a difference in their clients lives find themselves beat, buried under mountains of case files and within a system fraught with budgetary constraints and too few advocates. The prisons are where the government money is thrown, not in rehabilitation efforts. We are better than this, An eye-opening and sobering look into our parole system by a former insider, a book that everyone should read. Hardy’s client stories broke my heart. So many good people who become P.O.s with intentions to make a difference in their clients’ lives find themselves beat, buried under mountains of case files and within a system fraught with budgetary constraints and too few advocates. The prisons are where the government money is thrown, not in rehabilitation efforts. We are better than this, America!
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    The only way to learn the life of hard knocks is either to be a part of one or to learn from one and this is why we must understand it before trying to change it!Poverty is a death sentence for many. It's a feeling of being locked in without a way out. There's little to hope for and even less to strive for.Yet, there must always be a glimmer of light to attain if you wish to offer peace and prosperity for all and not just the top one percent of the pile.It's a dog eat dog world with prison being The only way to learn the life of hard knocks is either to be a part of one or to learn from one and this is why we must understand it before trying to change it!Poverty is a death sentence for many. It's a feeling of being locked in without a way out. There's little to hope for and even less to strive for.Yet, there must always be a glimmer of light to attain if you wish to offer peace and prosperity for all and not just the top one percent of the pile.It's a dog eat dog world with prison being seen as a more worthy option for those who can't even find living wages.Once in the system the killed or be killed mentality sticks and it's hard to fight once reformation is attempted.In my day of obtaining a masters in criminal justice we learned of community policing and police being proactive not reactive.Sometimes going back to basics is best!In the second chance club the questions remain- Is it best to focus on giving them the tools they need to be successful after prison. After all who wants to hire a convicted felon? A mass murderer? Anyone with a criminal record is shot down.While I don't have a criminal record the hardships are never the less real after leaving an abusive spouse having giving up my career as homemaker of three kids.The system is designed so that if there's a gap in time you must account yet even with volunteering you're at a loss as your earning potential decreases and employers beyond six months of unemployment aren't even seeing you on the radar.If you attempt to improve your situation such as get a license and another car -you're penalized as the car is seen as an asset if it's beyond a certain dollar amount.If you attempt to get a job - another whammy because while a job is great - if the pay is too low - you lose your benefits such as EBT needed to survive. In layman terms you're now entering the 'working poor.'If you try to go to college or are educated from within the prison walls you will be seen as in my case 'overqualified' or 'lacking prior work experience' and either way you lose. Or in my son's case in which he went to college and was taken off food stamps because he couldn't work in the welfare to work program as a full time night student who studies during the day.In addition, those who are poor have a harder life being poor. Nothing comes easy. The costs just to live daily are higher than those with wealth.Three things need to change:1. Shorten community supervision period 2. Use savings from shorter sentences to increase treatment court process.3. Use restorative circles and create more jobs.If you follow the U6 numbers on unemployment you know the situation is bleak. There's simply more people than jobs but you won't hear about it since most media focus on U3 stats. The doubling of the numbers is what you'll find if you include those who are working poor&those with temp or seasonal yet working.The author may have joined at the wrong time in policing but safe to say he has a story like we all have a story.He may have left some of this madness behind but the high case loads, the broken system of justice, the racking of the poor across the coals in all forms from bail money to fines continues.We need to end these injustices and fix what's broken.
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  • Kayo
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating, enlightening, and downright SAD....You read about all the different people author deals with. You get to know them as people. I loved this book!Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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  • Jess
    January 1, 1970
    I dont think Ive ever finished an audiobook this long so fast. This is a superbly crafted look at what the probation and parole system is like in the United States with Hardys experiences in New Orleans as a case study. If you know or know of anyone in prison or recently released, this book will mean even more to you, but it is something everyone should know about. Recidivism is an unfortunate reality. Maybe if the government provided some sort of uplift for recent parolees and probationers I don’t think I’ve ever finished an audiobook this long so fast. This is a superbly crafted look at what the probation and parole system is like in the United States with Hardy’s experiences in New Orleans as a case study. If you know or know of anyone in prison or recently released, this book will mean even more to you, but it is something everyone should know about. Recidivism is an unfortunate reality. Maybe if the government provided some sort of uplift for recent parolees and probationers instead of kicking them to the curb with no money, no housing, and expecting them to get an upstanding job with a criminal record and not talk to their friends or want to go back to doing/dealing/stealing/etc. things would be different. This boom will open your eyes. Highly recommend! Also, I sincerely hope Hardhead and Kendrick and all the other people mentioned are doing well. I’ll think about them for a long time to come.
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  • JP
    January 1, 1970
    Great book! ♥ Great book! ♥️
  • Luanne Ollivier
    January 1, 1970
    Fiction is my usual genre, but I also enjoy social science books - ones that ask the reader/listener to take a look at our world, society and the people within. I knew I wanted to listen to The Second Chance Club: Hardship and Hope After Prison by Jason Hardy.Hardy was a high school English teacher, had a master's degree in creative writing, but was toiling away in a retail job when he applied to become a probation officer in New Orleans. Armed with a badge, a gun and good intentions, Hardy is Fiction is my usual genre, but I also enjoy social science books - ones that ask the reader/listener to take a look at our world, society and the people within. I knew I wanted to listen to The Second Chance Club: Hardship and Hope After Prison by Jason Hardy.Hardy was a high school English teacher, had a master's degree in creative writing, but was toiling away in a retail job when he applied to become a probation officer in New Orleans. Armed with a badge, a gun and good intentions, Hardy is handed his caseload - over 200 cases, double the national average. The department is understaffed and underfunded. Here's a stat for you - over 4.5 million people are on probation or parole in the United States.Hardy focuses on seven of his cases in The Second Chance Club. Drugs are present in each of these people's lives. Some of them truly want a way out to a better life. But, what does that encompass? A better life means something different for each person. Others are gaming the system. I found myself quite surprised by the breadth of Hardy's job. Maybe it's from reading all those fictional police procedurals - for me, a probation officer sat in an office, with clients checking in on a regular basis, told to get a job and have a drug test. Well, yes that happens, but there's much more to the job. Hardy and his co-workers regularly visit for home inspections (and yes, home includes homeless tent encampments), find shelters, detoxes, counselling, court help and so much more than I knew.I quickly became invested in the story of those seven cases. What would happen to each of them? Would they escape the past, find a future or continue to live the life they know? Sadly, disaster prevention becomes a phrase heard more than once in this book.It was impossible not to stop, turn off the player and think as I reflected upon the latest chapter. Hardy himself reflects that "Every hour on the job presented a new opportunity to reflect on my own privilege and the extent to which a person’s place of birth dictates his aspirations..."The Second Chance Club gives us a real look at the inner workings of the criminal justice system - and suggestions for what needs to change. And change only comes with knowledge. An excellent book and most definitely recommended.I chose to listen to The Second Chance Club. The reader was a favorite of mine and an excellent choice - Jacques Roy. He seems to take on the personality of the author and becomes the voice for the mental image I had created. It's calming and suited the subject matter. His voice is clear, easy to understand and pleasant to listen to. The speed of speaking is just right, allowing the listener to take it all in. He enunciates well. His voice rises and falls with the emotion/actions etc.
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    While Im still off put by the unavoidable white savior aspect of this (privileged white guy with an MFA working for a few years as a parole officer in New Orleans), its well-written and engaging, if not somewhat hopeless and dark, look at the criminal justice system on a micro level. I think the author acknowledges his privilege, and I admire his commitment to what sadly comes across as an endlessly hopeless form of public service. I understand why there isnt follow up on the various people in While I’m still off put by the unavoidable “white savior” aspect of this (privileged white guy with an MFA working for a few years as a parole officer in New Orleans), it’s well-written and engaging, if not somewhat hopeless and dark, look at the criminal justice system on a micro level. I think the author acknowledges his privilege, and I admire his commitment to what sadly comes across as an endlessly hopeless form of public service. I understand why there isn’t follow up on the various people in the book but definitely curious.
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  • jbgbookgirl
    January 1, 1970
    If you are a fan of Evicted by Matthew Desmond, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, and Dreamland by Sam Quinones, this is a great companion book. The author writes about his experience as a parole officer in New Orleans. The goal is to make sure those who leave prison will not return, but this is too lofty a goal when you are without money and resources. Jason Hardy brings you along as you visit those on his caseload, share his frustrations at the lack of resources, and smile at the few, If you are a fan of Evicted by Matthew Desmond, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, and Dreamland by Sam Quinones, this is a great companion book. The author writes about his experience as a parole officer in New Orleans. The goal is to make sure those who leave prison will not return, but this is too lofty a goal when you are without money and resources. Jason Hardy brings you along as you visit those on his caseload, share his frustrations at the lack of resources, and smile at the few, too few, success stories. His goal is to shed a light on the uphill battle those who are newly released from prison fight bc they have no re-entry training. Without any resources, a return to prison is just a matter of time and a financial drain on the community.
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  • Edward Sullivan
    January 1, 1970
    An empathetic, insightful insider's look at the parole system by a former New Orleans parole officer. Through the intertwining stories of seven parolees, Hardy reveals how the justice system often fails to give offenders the opportunities and tools necessary to re-enter society.
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  • Craig Fiebig
    January 1, 1970
    This struck me as a bit of a must-read book for anyone interested in the criminal justice system, where it is working and (mostly) where it is not. Its a little thin on ideas for how we can improve things but that may be due to the overall intractability of the problem itself. This struck me as a bit of a must-read book for anyone interested in the criminal justice system, where it is working and (mostly) where it is not. It’s a little thin on ideas for how we can improve things but that may be due to the overall intractability of the problem itself.
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  • Rita Ciresi
    January 1, 1970
    This book will teach you a lot about the criminal justice system (in particular, how it plays out on the city level of New Orleans and statewide in Louisiana) and the challenges that parole/probation officers face as they try to help those released from prison. It's a tough read, but well worth it.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    I've read a fair number of works on the criminal justice system, but none focusing on one of the arms of the jail/prison system that is often the most present in "offenders'" lives: probation and parole (P&P). Hardy is a born-and-raised Louisianan who, after not finding luck in other jobs and wanting to make a difference in the criminal justice system, applied to be a probation and parole officer. He went into the job thinking that all POs were just as bad as cops, and he wanted to be the I've read a fair number of works on the criminal justice system, but none focusing on one of the arms of the jail/prison system that is often the most present in "offenders'" lives: probation and parole (P&P). Hardy is a born-and-raised Louisianan who, after not finding luck in other jobs and wanting to make a difference in the criminal justice system, applied to be a probation and parole officer. He went into the job thinking that all POs were just as bad as cops, and he wanted to be the one new guy who kept people out of prison. But, soon after meeting his coworkers in New Orleans, he discovered that almost all parole officers, regardless of political belief or tenure, wanted that same goal. POs are the criminal justice system's closest personal link to an "offender," offering on-the-ground community supervision, going into homes, and really getting to know their cases as humans. POs are half-cop, half-social worker, fulfilling duties to inspect homes, carry out drug tests, provide an ear to vent to, and connect offenders to social services and programs. They have a duty to the public and put people back in jail or prison if they pose a danger to the people around them, but they also have discretionary power to not throw people back in the system for failing a drug test or another minor offense. POs want to see their cases do well: kick nasty drug addictions, stop dealing drugs, get a job, go back to school, find a stable living situation, get mental health treatment, etc. But most of the time this is aspirational, and POs sometimes just have to focus on "disaster prevention" - stopping overdoses or violent attacks on others. But, as is the problem with nearly every facet of the criminal justice system, P&P is under-resourced, under-staffed, and underfunded. Hardy had a caseload of 220 offenders, so many that he was only able to focus on the 50 with the highest risk/need out of all of them. In this book, Hardy goes into detail on about seven of his offenders, who he says are emblematic of the issues he saw in all of his cases. They all struggle with some form of the following: drug addiction (mostly heroin), homelessness, mental health issues, "addiction to the lifestyle" of being a drug dealer, and refusing to accept help when it was offered. Hardy, like all POs, does his best with each person, getting to know their unique circumstances and trying to connect them with services. When that doesn't work, he focuses on disaster prevention. Hardy sums up the main challenge here: "The most effective solutions to violent crime were social services that made upward mobility attainable for everyone willing to work for it, but transformative social services were expensive." The federal P&P system allocates a lot of money to social services and sees the reward - only 16% of federal parolees are sent back to prison before the end of their sentence, compared to 43% in Louisiana. P&P is vastly cheaper than sending someone to jail or prison, but the state does not realize that those cost savings will only come into play if offenders are kept out of the system, which requires investment in support services. These services can take a variety of forms, from drug court to detox/sober living facilities to Day Reporting Centers to mental health treatment to reentry/job services. It's not a perfect system - addiction is of course, notoriously difficult to eradicate, and going from a high-flying drug dealer's lifestyle to 40 hours of minimum wage work is a hard pill to swallow. But these services are proven ways to dramatically reduce rates of revocation and concretely improve offenders' lives. Some of the seven cases that Hardy details here were success stories, or as close to that as you can get amid all of these immense macro- and micro-issues. Some of them were not. Three of the cases ended up back in prison for various reasons, but from my perspective, Hardy did his best. When you're fighting against deeply-rooted issues of race, class, family circumstances, bad neighborhoods, drugs, gangs, crime, violence, and more - the small wins matter. Hardy did what was in his power to do, advocating for individuals in front of judges based on who he knew and hoped his offenders to be, exercising his discretion to know when to give someone a chance, and connecting them to the support that was available. He notes many changes that have come into effect since his leaving P&P, and the many more that are still necessary. I was surprisingly left with a feeling of hope for what's to come, and how powerful it is for on-the-ground, good POs like Hardy and his coworkers to get to know their offenders as people and to offer help in the ways they can. Thank you to Simon Schuster for the ARC via Netgalley.
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  • Ashley Guerrero
    January 1, 1970
    The Second Chance Club is a book about Jason Hardys experience as a parole officer in the city of New Orleans. There are seven fascinating people/stories he focuses on in the book. Each story makes you feel regretful for the person on the other side of the law. They live in poverty and do not know how to get out. Jason does his best to create opportunities and options for his offenders but struggles internally with how to help everyone. Jason grew up in the area and had a fondness for New The Second Chance Club is a book about Jason Hardy’s experience as a parole officer in the city of New Orleans. There are seven fascinating people/stories he focuses on in the book. Each story makes you feel regretful for the person on the other side of the law. They live in poverty and do not know how to get out. Jason does his best to create opportunities and options for his offenders but struggles internally with how to help everyone. Jason grew up in the area and had a fondness for New Orleans. The book delves into the inner workings of the day to day life of a PO, a parolee, and the judicial system when offenders are given a chance after chance to change before heading to prison. It is heartbreaking to read about the missed opportunities that some of these young people had. It is also heartwarming to realize that there are so many POs out there willing to get up every day and do their job. The Second Chance Club was a great and inspirational book by Jason Hardy.
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  • Rose
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book that needs to be read in order to understand our justice system, those that commit crimes, and ways to help them to not reoffend. This is also an eyeopening look at the life of parole officers and the jobs they do. I highly recommend this book. I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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  • David V.
    January 1, 1970
    Received as an ARC from the publisher. Started 12-10-19; finished 12-13-19. I worked for 35 years as a juvenile court probation officer before retiring in 2000, so I was eager to read this book. For those not in the know: probation=before incarceration; parole=after. Mr. Hardy's book does a remarkable job of portraying the highs and lows of this kind of work and the frustration of dealing with bureaucracies. At the outset, a person choosing this job has to find other avenues for gaining Received as an ARC from the publisher. Started 12-10-19; finished 12-13-19. I worked for 35 years as a juvenile court probation officer before retiring in 2000, so I was eager to read this book. For those not in the know: probation=before incarceration; parole=after. Mr. Hardy's book does a remarkable job of portraying the highs and lows of this kind of work and the frustration of dealing with bureaucracies. At the outset, a person choosing this job has to find other avenues for gaining satisfaction because the rewards in this business are few and far-between. But when one does appear (when one of my former probationers graduates from high school and begins college---when my initial goal was to keep him alive from one week to the next), that provides the fuel to keep practicing your craft. The lows are also present--attending the funeral of a young boy who was hit and killed by a train--accident or suicide--no resolution even years later.My wife had often told me that I should write about my experiences. People wouldn't believe half the stories, such as the cattle rustler--in Akron, Ohio! Or the 13-year-old runaway who believed he could make it to Florida hitch-hiking, in 5 hours! No sense of geography.Mr Hardy's book should be used as a training guide for anyone entering the criminal justice field; any politician working on reforming prisons; any employee of a prison or a diversion program; or anyone working on improving neighborhoods. Understanding the situation is the first step to resolving it, and this excellent book explains it well. Especially using different techniques with different clients to examine what's effective. The reader gets to know several of his clients and the human process to help them.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    In the beginning of the book, Hardy explains that he really only went into P&P because he didn't know what to do with his life. He was meant to write this book. This book is so important for people to understand the reality of our criminal justice system and the harsh truths about poverty and its correlation with offenders. Written so well, Hardy follows the lives of 7 offenders with whom he worked with during his four years as a P&P Officer. Each one came from a different situation, a In the beginning of the book, Hardy explains that he really only went into P&P because he didn't know what to do with his life. He was meant to write this book. This book is so important for people to understand the reality of our criminal justice system and the harsh truths about poverty and its correlation with offenders. Written so well, Hardy follows the lives of 7 offenders with whom he worked with during his four years as a P&P Officer. Each one came from a different situation, a different charge and arrest record, and different plans to help them get back on track. This book is a great piece for anyone interested in the criminal justice system.
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  • abrimmingbookcase
    January 1, 1970
    Jason Hardy chronicles his transition from English teacher to parole & probation officer in New Orleans. He is thrust into an overburdened system where he works to make sense of inequities in his hometown, hoping to combat injustices and the crippling effects of mass incarceration on families and communities. .Hardys writing is ambitious. Rushed at times, you can sometimes see his wheels turning as he develops relationships with peers and parolees/probationers and formulates opinions Jason Hardy chronicles his transition from English teacher to parole & probation officer in New Orleans. He is thrust into an overburdened system where he works to make sense of inequities in his hometown, hoping to combat injustices and the crippling effects of mass incarceration on families and communities. .Hardy’s writing is ambitious. Rushed at times, you can sometimes see his wheels turning as he develops relationships with peers and parolees/probationers and formulates opinions thereof. His stories are engaging so you celebrate his victories when he is able to connect a parolee with the social services he needs and feel his pain as he watched families losing their battles to addiction and teetering towards jail time. He wisely centers in on a few key relationships which show the diversity of his experiences but protect against spreading the story too thin. While the ending wrapped up a little too quickly for my taste (I enjoyed the brief summary of institutional efforts to improve prisons and the P.O. system in Louisiana and would have. liked to see Hardy flesh out his subsequent career choices a bit more. Plus I really needed to know more about the puppies), this is overall an interesting insight into one of the lesser known components of America’s incarceration systems. Admittedly, a few things probably gave me a predisposition to enjoy this book: first, I’m an attorney by training with a penchant for books that look at the American justice system and efforts to make it less biased. Second, my dad is from New Orleans. I grew up traveling there and it’s still one of my favorite weekend breaks, so I‘m pretty familiar with the setting and the uniqueness of some systems there. But I don’t think you need either of those in common to find this worth your time. It’s a quick read on a relatively uncommon topic with a little social commentary. I’d give this 3.75 stars if we were on Star Search, but since that’s not an option, I’ll round it up.
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  • Michaela
    January 1, 1970
    Very interesting insights. How there is addiction to a lifestyle as well as a drug. How drug work can be a meritocracy. How some game the system by telling the judge they realized drugs hurt their community, by telling their counselors they were tired of the addiction but selling was the only way out of the ghetto. How "GMFB" (get money, f*ck b*itches) is the most common tattoo. How really the best the parole or probation officers can hope to do is damage control, balancing keeping their charge Very interesting insights. How there is addiction to a lifestyle as well as a drug. How drug work can be a meritocracy. How some game the system by telling the judge they realized drugs hurt their community, by telling their counselors they were tired of the addiction but selling was the only way out of the ghetto. How "GMFB" (get money, f*ck b*itches) is the most common tattoo. How really the best the parole or probation officers can hope to do is damage control, balancing keeping their charge from either over-dosing or hurting a community member. Whether anyone likes it or not, treatment is cheaper than jail. Poverty and addiction regardless of race or geography results in system bashing, victim denial, appeal to higher loyalties and code, and a taste for risk.The "get off welfare" advocates are generally those who all they ever had to do to get ahead is work hard and ask nicely. That way too many leave prison to directly enter homelessness.What has been found to work? 1. Shorten supervision from 5 years to 2. It either works in this timeframe or it doesn't.2. Use savings from shorter sentences to expand access to treatment courts. Addiction feeds increasingly risky behavior.3. Establish a transition year for parolees by releasing six months earlier and using the savings to fund rental vouchers so no one is released to homelessness.If police resources can be reduced from drug enforcement, they can be moved to even more violent crime resolution.Regarding restorative justice, while not a cure all, if it can reach or reduce 5% from recidivism, that too is a savings.Also, this half-legal drug state is only going black-market drug dealers a favor as they receive lighter sentences and big profits. Worst of both worlds.Regarding pan-handling, yes it is better to give directly to food shelters and drug rehab clinics. But if you give to an individual, some may go to drugs but much will go to food as well.
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  • Kayla Mckinney
    January 1, 1970
    Jason Hardys The Second Chance Club takes the reader into the world of parole officers and their charges in New Orleans. Hardy has 220 parolees under his care and instructs the reader in the way parole visits work (or fail to work). He discusses problems that many Americans are aware of, even if we might not think about them every day: the racial disparities of incarceration, the spread of heroin, re-offending, lack of funds and programs and the sad fact that our country leads the world in Jason Hardy’s The Second Chance Club takes the reader into the world of parole officers and their charges in New Orleans. Hardy has 220 parolees under his care and instructs the reader in the way parole visits work (or fail to work). He discusses problems that many Americans are aware of, even if we might not think about them every day: the racial disparities of incarceration, the spread of heroin, re-offending, lack of funds and programs and the sad fact that our country leads the world in incarcerated populations. At the time that Hardy takes his job, parole has shifted from using jail for minor offenses to using jail as a last-ditch tool to save the lives of repeat drug users, or to save members of the community from the offenders. Hardy helps the reader see how risk is assessed (risk of doing drugs, risk of committing violence, etc.) and shows the places where the system is weak. There are no easy answers in The Second Chance Club, but some possibilities are offered. These include: offering jobs that pay a living wage to those released from prison, keeping drug users away from other users, try more solutions in the first two years of parole instead of stretching things out, and get the community to invest in homeless shelters and food banks. “Solving a crime,” Hardy writes, “is easier than solving a person.” Parole officers are charged with “solving” a great many people but we, as members of the community, need to help provide tools to enable them to be “solved” and helped. Second Chance Club can provide some of these tools and some insights into a problem that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
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  • Judy Christiana
    January 1, 1970
    The author, Jason Hardy, has tremendous skills to write this insightful, informative and heartbreaking book with compassion and at times, humor. The writing style kept me so interested and striving to absorb the knowledge he is imparting to the reader from his time in public service as a parole officer in New Orleans, LA. I usually read fiction and I wish this book were fiction, since it is distressing to know that the contents of this book are real and there is no solution to the situation in The author, Jason Hardy, has tremendous skills to write this insightful, informative and heartbreaking book with compassion and at times, humor. The writing style kept me so interested and striving to absorb the knowledge he is imparting to the reader from his time in public service as a parole officer in New Orleans, LA. I usually read fiction and I wish this book were fiction, since it is distressing to know that the contents of this book are real and there is no solution to the situation in sight.I recommend this book so very highly! To be very honest, when I decided to read this book, I was not certain I wanted to. I am so glad that I went ahead and ventured into the pages. I have come out on the other side understanding the trappings of what life can be for the less fortunate that are caught in a world I was blessed to never know. I want to thank Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for allowing me to read the Advanced Reader Copy of The Second Chance Club. This review is my own opinion, not influenced by reading the ARC.
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  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    The United States accounts for 25 percent of all the incarcerated people in the world, about 2.3 million. Incredibly, there are almost twice as many -- 4.5 million -- on probation and parole.During his stint as a parole officer, Hardy was responsible for 220 people on parole or probation. The stories he tells in this book are a snapshot of those people. He shows how the parole and probation system fails the most vulnerable, by not having adequate services in place to assist them. At one point he The United States accounts for 25 percent of all the incarcerated people in the world, about 2.3 million. Incredibly, there are almost twice as many -- 4.5 million -- on probation and parole.During his stint as a parole officer, Hardy was responsible for 220 people on parole or probation. The stories he tells in this book are a snapshot of those people. He shows how the parole and probation system fails the most vulnerable, by not having adequate services in place to assist them. At one point he had to recommend 90 days jail for one of his charges, just so he could get a mental health examination and diagnosis, that would allow him to access mental health services and medication in the outside world. He also shows how dealers are able to game the system. This isn't a read that's going to give you all the answers on how to "fix" the jail/poverty system. But it does give an insight into how it works and what could be done better.
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  • Roger Smitter
    January 1, 1970
    The "second change club" are the people who author spends a lot of time and energy to get people who were in prison on drug cases to go straight. Most of us can imagine that the work is very difficult. Hardy gives us a very vivid set of events that tell us how deep and complex the work is.We get a second-hand insight into a group of the people who needed (and tried) to go straight. We also learn some oft he language. The best of those passages combine a sense of compassion with the rough The "second change club" are the people who author spends a lot of time and energy to get people who were in prison on drug cases to go straight. Most of us can imagine that the work is very difficult. Hardy gives us a very vivid set of events that tell us how deep and complex the work is.We get a second-hand insight into a group of the people who needed (and tried) to go straight. We also learn some oft he language. The best of those passages combine a sense of compassion with the rough decisions that druggies have to ensure. At the same time, the stories in the book become very complex to follow.Too often the book provides so to much detail in his work. I was interested in the material but I wanted more of the larger view of the problems.
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  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    The Second Chance Club by Jason Hardy is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early December.What life is like in New Orleans, post-incarceration, and the criticisms, limitations, and options available to you; all from a former parole/probation officer who profiles seven out of the 200+ parolees he was once in charge of. Its quick, dry, and nonchalant for the most part, introspective about an inch below the surface, ultimately just keen on getting things and doing his job until he meets with The Second Chance Club by Jason Hardy is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early December.What life is like in New Orleans, post-incarceration, and the criticisms, limitations, and options available to you; all from a former parole/probation officer who profiles seven out of the 200+ parolees he was once in charge of. It’s quick, dry, and nonchalant for the most part, introspective about an inch below the surface, ultimately just keen on getting things and doing his job until he meets with people who honestly want to reform their lives for the better. I guess I’m so used to sociologists writing books about criminal justice that this one just feels like a glorified observational journal and not much else.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    After college, Jason Hardy finds himself selling watches at J.C. Penneys. Totally unsuited for the job he decides to try his hand at being a Probation and Parole Officer in one of Americas toughest cities, New Orleans. Coming on board just when criminal justice is taking a hard look at methods and trying to keep people out of prisons, Jason is confronted with helping people immersed in poverty, drug addiction, gangs and violence with very few resources. An amazing look inside a part of the After college, Jason Hardy finds himself selling watches at J.C. Penney’s. Totally unsuited for the job he decides to try his hand at being a Probation and Parole Officer in one of America’s toughest cities, New Orleans. Coming on board just when criminal justice is taking a hard look at methods and trying to keep people out of prisons, Jason is confronted with helping people immersed in poverty, drug addiction, gangs and violence with very few resources. An amazing look inside a part of the justice system that is rarely talked about and the benefits of “social supervision.”
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    **Thank you to Simon and Schuster for the advance reader's copy I received through a goodreads giveaway4.5This book provides a perspective on an underserved topic-probation and parole. Hardy is an honest and self-aware narrator who tells the stories of those on his caseload with humanity and honesty. I was frustrated along side him when he and his colleagues couldn't provide a better "system " for those on their watch. Highly recommended. This a good companion to Just Mercy if you are looking to **Thank you to Simon and Schuster for the advance reader's copy I received through a goodreads giveaway4.5This book provides a perspective on an underserved topic-probation and parole. Hardy is an honest and self-aware narrator who tells the stories of those on his caseload with humanity and honesty. I was frustrated along side him when he and his colleagues couldn't provide a better "system " for those on their watch. Highly recommended. This a good companion to Just Mercy if you are looking to round out your understanding.
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