How To Help Ex-Prisoners Live Again On The Outside

Once released, prisoners in the United States face an environment that endlessly challenges them and makes it quite difficult to reintegrate back to society. It’s not enough to give former inmates $200 each and without a suitable place to live and help to find work and to adjust to life outside prison walls.

Educate them

Some ex-prisoners have a basic level of education while higher education is almost entirely absent, so inside the prison, the qualified and interested ones should already be given the opportunity to pursue a college education. In California, San Quentin Prison – one of the country’s largest – offers college-level education to inmates through its Prison University Project.

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Support their transition

Equip them with skills, training, and job placement once they are released from prison. Centers that do exactly this in certain states should be emulated in other places. Successful re-entry into society should also be viewed in terms of how their basic life needs are met, namely livelihood, residence, health, family, criminal justice compliance, and social connections.

Remove unfair barriers to being employed

Blanket prohibitions such as professional certifications for truck drivers in Texas should be removed as they bar former prisoners from seeking new jobs. Louisiana, which has the highest incarceration rate in the country, has a Re-Entry Court program that allows the state’s younger inmates who qualify to learn a trade, such as cooking or plumbing.

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Dr. Wayne Imber is a retired professor specializing in social and developmental psychology. For the past 30 years, he has taught in Chicago and throughout Arizona and Massachusetts. For similar reads, visit this page.

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