Andy Hale’s article in Rolling Stone highlights why prison reintegration programs are needed - and who is doing it right. It is a lot harder for formerly incarcerated people to reassimilate into society after prison than many people realize. Not only because of fundamental issues finding housing, employment, and transportation or being able to afford clothing or food, but also because the stigma of being an ex-convict affects their personal lives.
The majority of incarcerated people come from poverty, and that rarely changes after being released. However, a smoother transition back to society decreases the chances of recidivism, since criminal activity can be driven by limited economic opportunities.
Prison reintegration programs can help address the challenges raised in Hale's article. Unfortunately, such programs are inconsistently available across the U.S. and are severely under-funded. Many nonprofit organizations try to help across different focus areas, like offering training programs, mental health support, or other resources that support a smoother reentry.
Besides prison reintegration programs, Hale’s article points out what business leaders can do to support such initiatives. For example: They can champion their organization to hiring qualified candidates with criminal records (i.e. fair-chance/second-chance hiring). Business can also support programs with funding or in-kind support. Lastly, business leaders can spread the word about the issue, to raise awareness and drive change within the business community.
Read more about the organizations in Hale’s article here: https://www.rollingstone.com/culture-council/articles/prison-reintegration-programs-are-needed-and-whos-doing-it-right-1333807/