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Voices for a Second Chance Gala features OITNB's Piper Kerman

Voices for a Second Chance helps ex-offenders transition back into society. Piper Kerman speaks to WUSA 9's Elizabeth Jia at the annual gala.
Voices for a Second Chance helps ex-offenders transition back into society. Piper Kerman (green) speaks to WUSA 9's Elizabeth Jia at the annual gala.

GEORGETOWN (WUSA9) --- Voices for a Second Chance (VSC) helps men and women transition into society after returning from a period of incarceration.

The 45th anniversary gala for VSC featured Piper Kerman, author of the book, Orange is the New Black. WUSA9's Derek McGinty served as the MC at the dinner inside the Four Seasons hotel, 5.14.15.

VSC provides resources to men, women and their families impacted by the prison system. Applying for a stable job, securing housing and obtaining identification papers are often challenges for ex-offenders.

"The things that are most important for successful re-entry are a safe and stable place to live, access to healthcare, like mental healthcare, or substance abuse, or reproductive healthcare, there's all kinds of different things people need, said Piper Kerman, the featured speaker.

Kerman is the author of the novel that inspired the hit Netflix show, Orange is the New Black. She tells WUSA9's Elizabeth Jia:

"One of the things that's truly challenging about the experience of incarceration is that of course, it's incredibly focused on deficit, and mistakes, and all the ways that you've screwed up," she explains.

Kerman's novel was based on her own experience going through incarceration.

"It is so important to have people have a sense that there are lots of folks who are pulling for them...We all have a stake in the success of people who come home from prison and jail, because all of our safety relies on people being able to get to work and do the things that they need to do and lead a legal life."

Produced/Written by: Elizabeth Jia
WUSA 9

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