Wharton Calls for Review of Second Chance Program



Anwar Gates
  • Anwar Gates

Last week, Memphis Motor Vehicle Inspection Bureau employee Anwar Gates, a member of the city's Second Chance employment program for felons, was arrested and charged with aggravated burglary after he allegedly robbed the Wells Fargo Bank on Germantown Parkway.

The arrest of Gates, who previously served time for first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping, was the second arrest this year of a Second Chance employee working for the city of Memphis. In July, Memphis Animal Services employee Demetria Hogan was charged with animal abuse.

As a result of the arrests, Mayor A C Wharton is calling for a review of the Second Chance program's admission criteria and monitoring process. In the last five years, nearly 40 of the active program participants have been re-arrested.

“Through our public/private partnerships, the city of Memphis’ Second Chance program has helped more than 1,200 ex-offenders find employment,” Wharton said. “While this arrest is certainly unfortunate, I hope it will not leave a black eye on a program that has helped so many people who truly deserve a second chance."

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