As many as 60 percent of ex-prisoners are unemployed one year after their release from prison.
This signals pending disaster — not only for the ex-prisoners and their families, but also for the broader community. Without a source of income, many ex-prisoners have trouble finding housing. The stress of unemployment also puts people at higher risk of alcohol and drug abuse, particularly for those who already have a history of drug problems.
Confinement in prison distances prisoners from their community. Once they return, unemployment only adds to this sense of disconnection.
Unfortunately, many ex-prisoners lack even the basic skills to start hunting for a job once they get out. 70 percent of prison inmates function at the low end of the literacy range — making it tough to understand a classified ad, fill out a job application, or write a business letter. With so many challenges stacked against them, re-arrests are common within the first six months of release.
By contrast, employment provides ex-prisoners with many benefits: income, of course, but also identity, healthy social interactions, a sense of purpose, and stability. These help to promote a sense of well-being as well as a connection to the community – all of which cuts down on recidivism.
You can help increase the chances of newly-released prisoners finding a job by contacting NICRO today for assistance.
Here’s how to get started:
- Plan your strategies.
- Select training materials/methods.
- Access community resources.
- Research benefits of hiring ex-prisoners.
- Reach out to potential employers.
- Listen to employers.
- Provide job-application assistance.
The work you do to help ex-prisoners get and keep good jobs is vital to their successful reentry. Every paycheck boosts morale and helps provide stability for ex-offenders and their families.