Mentoring Released Felons

"A criminal record today authorizes precisely the forms of discrimination we supposedly left behind - discrimination in employment, housing, education, public benefits, and jury service.  Those labeled criminals can even be denied the right to vote."  - Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
Statistics
  • Barriers to Stability.  There are more than 44,000 local, state and federal restrictions placed on people with convictions.  (healthcare, employment, voting, housing, student loans, food, travel)

    Reentry Housing.  Cost and discrimination were the top barriers to finding housing after release.
    • 79% of survey participants were either ineligible for or denied housing because of their own or a loved one's conviction history. 
    • 58% of survey participants were currently living with family members while only 9% were living in transitional housing.
    • 1 in 10 survey participants reported family members being evicted when loved ones returned.
Reentry Employment.  The biggest barriers to finding stable employment were lack of adequate education and training, and being required to disclose conviction history when applying for a job.  Three out of 4 survey participants said that finding employment after release was difficult or nearly impossible.

Education.  More than 40% of state and federal prisoners don't have a high school diploma or equivalent.  3 in 5 formerly incarcerated survey participants were unable to afford returning to school.  1 in 4 were denied or barred from educational loans because of their conviction.  While 67% of formerly incarcerated survey participants reported that they wanted to return to school, only 27% were able to.

Wealth Accumulation.  Young men are divided into two groups - those who experience incarceration ($10,000/year in 2000) and those who never do ($80,000/year in 2000) - shows a shocking disparity in wealth accumulation.  (Source:  Prison Policy Initiative)