Can Inmates Become an Integral Part of the U.S. Workforce?

Brief

Can Inmates Become an Integral Part of the U.S. Workforce?

Abstract

The Reentry Roundtable entitled, The Employment Dimensions of Prisoner Reentry: Understanding the Nexus between Prisoner Reentry and Work, was held on May 19-20, 2003 in New York City. The Roundtable focused on several aspects of the employment-reentry link, including the employment profile of the prison population; the work experience in prison; applicable lessons from welfare to work; the employment barriers ex-offenders face; and the potential linkages between correctional systems, intervention programs, and private employers. The meeting aimed to identify policy and research opportunities geared to improving the employment prospects, and thereby the chances of successful reintegration, for hundred of thousands of people leaving prison each year. This paper discusses why and how reforming the current Federal Correctional Industries program by opening up prisons to greater private sector prison employment is good public policy.

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