When American convicts are freed, they are met with a hostile environment that intentionally discourages them from contributing to society in a positive way. With more than 2 million people in prison in the United States, recidivism hurts both the families of inmates and society at large as taxpayers continue to fund a broken system that sets ex-offenders up to fail once they are released. Within three years of release, 67.8% of ex-offenders are rearrested, and within five years, 76.6 percent are.

Recidivism is described by the Congressional Research Service as “the re-arrest, reconviction, or re-incarceration of an ex-offender within a given time frame”. Once ex-offenders are freed from prison, it is more challenging for them than for the general population to find gainful employment, secure a reliable source of housing, and generally function in society. Ex-offenders are permanently penalized for their misdeeds and frequently seen as sub-citizens. These limitations have systemic origins that have an impact on ex-offenders at all societal levels.


Over half of incarcerated adults are parents of minor children, which means they may miss out on many of their children’s crucial and formative years. Unfortunately, there are barriers to maintaining consistent contact with family, and … Read More