Every year, the nation’s prisons release more than 700,000 prisoners, but far too many of them wind up in poverty or back in prison.
A proposal by The Brookings Institution aims to reverse this trend and reduce the U.S. prison population by creating a national program that will improve employment opportunities and help ex-prisoners re-enter society successfully.
The U.S. prison system has seen rapid growth over the past 30 years, reaching about 2.3 million prisoners in 2007. Much of that growth was fueled by the incarceration of low-income Black and Latino drug offenders who have limited options for employment upon release.
According to Brookings, a major benefit of the program is that it will ease the financial burden on states, who will spend much less money on prisons, especially for repeat offenders.