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HR=Humans Represent: Free Me From This Prison

I’m always interested in hearing recruitment statistics, and after reading a Pew Center On The States Press Release, I thought this blog would be a great follow up to my Sep 13th posting – Get out of Jail Green Ticket. Here’s the impact of incarceration for job seekers, their families, and for the government:

· Incarceration reduces former inmates’ earnings by 40%, and limits their future economic mobility

· 1 in 28 U.S. children has a parent behind bars (in 1985, this figure was 1 in 125!)

· Corrections is the second fastest growing state budget category!

· 2.3 million Americans are behind bars, or to look at it another way, that’s 1 in 100 adults! (up from 500,000 in 1980) – this works out to over a 300% increase in the U.S. incarcerated population!

· 2.7 million minor children have a parent behind bars (1 in 28)

Some recommendations from the Pew Center On The States as to increase the chances that ex-offenders will rejoin the community and labor market successfully:

  1. Reconnect former inmates to the labor market through education, training, job search, placement support and follow-up services
  2. Making work pay by capping the percent of an offenders’ income subject to deductions for court-ordered fines and fees
  3. Funding incentives for correction agencies and programs which succeed in reducing crime and increasing employment
  4. Offering earned-time credits to offenders who complete educational, vocational, or rehabilitation programs behind bars
  5. Using swift and certain sanctions to deter probation and parole violations and reduce the cost of incarceration. As an example – Hawaii’s HOPE probation program uses short and immediate jail stays to punish drug use and other probation violations, imposing tem on weekends so wo4rking offenders don’t lose their jobs.

Times are tough all over, but imagine searching for a job in this economy as an ex-offender. I suspect they are finding themselves competing for positions with the average Joe job seeker for positions that “Joe” ordinarily would not have considered applying for in the past!

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