The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

Prison and Ex-Felons

In 2008, the Pew Center on the States released a report revealing that 1 out of 9 black men aged 20 to 34 is in prison and more than 1 out of every 100 adult Americans is incarcerated—the highest incarceration rate in the world. And Philadelphia County has the highest incarceration rate in the country, with 602 per 100,000 people behind bars (Justice Policy Institute). With such a large percentage of the population serving or having served time in jail, the coexisting challenges facing Philadelphia are those of prevention and reintegration in a society reluctant to give criminals a second chance; Philadelphia is experimenting with programs that offer businesses a tax benefit for hiring ex-convicts because, as Mayor Nutter has said, “the best crime prevention is a good job.”

Her dad… he doesn’t have a job but he gets money, he takes care of his daughter. And I know what he does to do it… it’s very hard in America, to get a job if you have a criminal record, it’s very hard... I don’t approve of it because anything could happen. What if somebody gets mad and does something to him while he's got my daughter?

 

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