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Providing a range of supports to enhance prospects for successful re-entry

60%

Nearly 60 percent of formerly incarcerated people are unemployed one year after release

50%

25-50 percent of homeless people have been incarcerated

For the more than 600,000 people who exit the system every year, coming home to family and community is the first important step into a new life. Currently this process does not work well for anyone, so we need to find a way for every person coming home to have a safe place to live and a good job that provides a livable wage. There are many facets to this challenge, and Impact Justice is tackling them with answers rooted in the new economy.

We know the single most significant factor in reducing recidivism is housing, and the greatest challenge of prison re-entry housing is that an individual’s success depends getting secure housing during their first 90 days after release. That’s why Impact Justice’s Homecoming Project is working to harness the sharing economy to find available homes for people exiting prison.

A roof overhead is important, but finding a job is the way to sustain life back in the community.

A roof overhead is important, but finding a job is the way to sustain life back in the community. But we also know that for many, a prison sentence ultimately becomes a life sentence of under or unemployment. Many laws and other regulations formally or informally bar individuals with criminal records from entering many segments of the workforce. And millions of resumes are tossed aside when an applicant’s past criminal history is revealed through self-reporting or background checks.

There’s a better path both for formerly incarcerated people and employers. One study in Florida found helping inmates receive a vocational certificate reduced recidivism by 17 percent. And existing evidence about the job performance of formerly incarcerated people is encouraging. The data firm Evolv found people convicted of a crime were slightly more productive than those with no criminal record at all. In addition, businesses that hire people with criminal records note their loyalty and drive to do better. Working in partnership with R Street, Impact Justice is educating the business community about the social and economic benefits of employing formerly incarcerated people.

What We’re Doing

Enhancing Prospects for a Successful Re-Entry

Housing for Formerly Incarcerated People

Impact Justice’s Homecoming Project uses the sharing economy model to match up people leaving the system with those offering housing. Focused in Alameda County, California, we identify and match community hosts with participants, assess participants’ needs, and provide access to wraparound services to facilitate their health, well-being, and stability.

Eliminating Barriers to Employment

Impact Justice partnered with R Street to shift the narrative about employing formerly incarcerated people through advocacy, communications, and policy efforts. We’re educating the business community to lower barriers to employment upon re-entry.

Evaluating New Solutions

The Research & Action Center evaluates innovative programs providing customized re-entry services, tailored to meet the needs of young adults, ages 18 to 25. Through a collaborative effort with Contra Costa County, California, this work aims to bolster the success of young people heavily impacted by the justice system.