High Unemployment

Once an individual has a criminal history, life is very different. Many formerly incarcerated individuals held jobs prior to incarceration, however after they are released, gainful employment is very difficult to obtain.

Studies show that over 650,000 formerly incarcerated individuals are released from prison every year throughout the United States.60% are still unemployed one year or more after release.

The current state of our economy makes finding a job particularly difficult for this population. Lack of sustainable, livable wage employment is a major contributor to high recidivism rates.

High unemployment is also a major contributor to homeless populations, increased substance abuse and criminal activity.

Limited Assistance

Those previously incarcerated even for miniscule amounts of drugs are stripped of public services designed to help people in need. This population cannot receive public housing or get a business license in many cases. They cannot receive food stamps or public assistance. They are disqualified from most educational grants. They are denied their citizens right to vote and the list goes on and on.


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Prison Overcrowding

High Unemployment
In Urban Area


Substance Abuse

Mental Health

Inadequate Foster System

Kids Growing Up Without

Behavior Problem In


Generational Incarceration

Increased And Wasted
Government Spending

Higher Health Cost

Breakdown Of The Family Unit

Higher Health Cost

Targeted Arrest

80% of those incarcerated for low level non violent drug offences are African and Hispanic. Urban and poor neighborhoods are specifically targeted to obtain those arrests.

Therefore, this creates entire communities of previously incarcerated people that are unemployed, under-educated and have very little opportunity to better their situation. Most are re-arrested within 3 years.

No Public Assistance

Previously incarcerated individuals cannot live with a family member that is receiving public assistance or the family could lose their safety net. So families are divided. By law. There are non profit services available to this population and many are very effective.The problem is the number of people needing their help is extremely overwhelming and they can only help so many people. So the majority of those needing help are not able to receive it.

Economic Price

Local & state budgets are being eaten up by incarceration costs to the point where major services and programs such as education, transportation, public safety and many others are being cut in part to make room for skyrocketing incarceration costs.

This is a very unsustainable position as demonstrated by the recent decision of the U.S attorney general to give judges more discretion in mandatory sentencing cases in an effort to slow down incarceration rates for non violent low level drug offenders.

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Who Benefits In This Losing War?

There is a major loss on both ends of this equation plus the destruction of families, communities and local economies left in its’ wake. On top of that, illegal drugs are still free flowing into the country and widely available.

In summary, we are spending billions (80 billion/yr) to fight the ‘War on Drugs” thru get tough legislation such as three strikes laws, mandatory minimum sentencing, increased drug enforcement, and so on.

Illegal drug availability and drug use is still very prevalent in American society. The high drug arrest numbers proves this point. 40 years of the “War on Drugs” has made 1 thing very clear.

This policy is not working, does not work and is a very ineffective use of billions of taxpayer dollars. Yet the “War on Drugs” continues to be funded every year. So who profits from mass incarceration?

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