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What needs to change?

How society treats the incarcerated

We must stand with the previously incarcerated so that instead of violence, pain, or trauma, we will foster inclusion, care, unconditional loving kindness, and compassionate acceptance. We must show our world what standing with those coming out of incarceration looks like, what their healing looks like, and what investing in their futures looks like. 

More jobs

Despite the benefits of employment, few jobs exist in our county for those coming out of incarceration. National data released from the U.S. Department of Justice in 2021 indicates that up to 60 percent of formerly incarcerated people are jobless at any given time.  And on average in 2021, those newly released were unemployed at a rate five times that of the general population.

Systemic racial injustice

Racial disparities are longstanding and persist in most U.S. jails. Incarceration policies are based on a familiar narrative founded on myths, lies, and stereotypes about people of color that involves public anxiety about both actual and alleged criminal behavior by racial and ethnic minorities and the use of state punishment to control them. We must face and grapple with the ways in which U.S. prisons weave the legacy of slavery with generations of racial and social injustice. (see The Vera Institute)

"When talking about helping those formerly incarcerated, conversations often focus on the crimes that were committed. Not discussed as often is how to assist those wanting to work toward positive change, specifically in offering employment opportunities to build careers while honoring the dignity of those who have experienced incarceration."
Dr. Helen Wolf
Board Member