Phoenix Ex-Cons Dedicated to Helping Others Escape the "Thug Life"

Inmates being released from prison often find themselves facing some pretty daunting challenges.  Re-integrating back into society isn’t as easy as you’d think. 

Approximately one third of Arizona inmates currently serving time are actually repeat offenders, in for additional time.  A study released last year by the Bureau of Justice Statistics concluded on some startling national statistics…68 percent of prisoners that had been released in 2005 had been arrested again within three years.  The percentage jumps to 77 percent if the time range is expanded to 5 years.  These numbers are too high!  It would seem that serving prison time would be a deterrent to repeat offenses and additional prison time.  So, why the repeat offenders, and what is really going on?

Unfortunately inmates being released from prison face some pretty daunting challenges.  Upon initial release ex-inmates usually don’t have a lot of money and need a place to stay and food to eat.  Another fairly immediate need is to find employment where time can be spent productively and income earned.  Even in cases where there is family to go to, the task of finding a job can be overwhelming.  It can be easy to assume that no one will hire an ex-con and slowly a life of crime can creep up.  Better treatment and education programs in prison could go a long way to helping inmates be ready for their release and what they’ll face.  In addition, better support programs on the outside to help ex-inmates through their initial challenges would also go a long way in helping ex-inmates re-integrate and become productive members of society. 

Fortunately there are some people out there doing their best to help ex-inmates.  After himself living through the prison release process, learning to reintegrate, finding a job, and working his way up, one ex-inmate is doing what he can to help released inmates find their way.  This gentleman has formed a non-profit organization that provides workshops to help inmates learn how to write a resume, dress correctly for interviews, and also provides some resources to help them find work.  He has also set up a hotline to provide guidance and help former inmates adjust to their new lives.  Here is to hoping he succeeds!

Original article.