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Legendary sports bettor donates a substantial gift for Las Vegas nonprofit.
The Billy Walters Center for Second Chances to provide valuable support services for formerly incarcerated people.

LAS VEGASFeb. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — HOPE for Prisoners, a Nevada-based nonprofit, today announced its new Las Vegas facility will be called the Billy Walters Center for Second Chances in honor of the substantial gift made by Billy and Susan Walters.

HOPE for Prisoners provides the formerly incarcerated with long-term support and services as they work to reclaim their lives, families, and standing in the community. The new centrally located facility will provide all the comprehensive services offered under one roof, including:

  • Vocational training
  • Life skills and job readiness training
  • Workforce development
  • Higher education opportunities
  • Substance abuse and mental-health counseling
  • DETR/Job connect
  • Parole and probation
  • Family reunification center
  • DMV/Social Security/Vital Records

“We are so grateful for the generous investment that Mr. Walters has made into the lives of the hundreds of men and women that we will have the privilege to serve in the coming year, said Jon Ponder, president and CEO of Hope for Prisoners. “His passion to impact other justice-involved members of our community is commendable and we could not be more thankful that he has chosen to support the mission of HOPE for Prisoners.”

Walters was granted clemency by former President Trump and Ponder a full Presidential pardon.

“I am incredibly grateful and inspired by what Jon Ponder has created,” said Walters.  “I can tell you firsthand that the prison system is broken and without programs like this, newly released inmates do not have a chance.”

Walters noted that Hope for Prisoners graduates more than 450 formerly incarcerated people every year, setting them on a path to lifelong success.

“But there are 2 million people in the nation’s prisons and jails—a 500% increase over the last 40 years,” he said. “I am hopeful that, with this new facility, more people and organizations will see the success of this program and emulate it around the country.

HOPE for Prisoners’ 18-month reentry program is in collaboration with private and public organizations like LVMPD, College of Southern Nevada and The Vegas Chamber, Workforce Connections, Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation and hundreds of volunteers.

Walters, along with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman and Assistant Sheriff Andy Walsh will be speaking at HOPE for Prisoners’ monthly Reentry Graduation Ceremony on Friday, February 18th at 4:30 p.m. at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

The Billy Walters Center for Second Chances will open in April 2022, coinciding with Second Chance Month.

About HOPE for Prisoners: 
Operating since 2010, HOPE for Prisoners is a nonprofit in Las Vegas, NV that facilitates comprehensive reentry and reintegration services to men, women, and young adults exiting various segments of the judicial system. The vision of HOPE for Prisoners is to empower and equip men, women, and young adults to successfully reenter and effectively function in mainstream society.

HOPE’s success is the result of its long-term commitment and relationship with various community partners, including local law enforcement and criminal justice entities.