Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law

OSJCL Amici Board of Advisors

OSJCL Amici: Views from the Field

Another By-Product of the Recession: Ex-Convicts

Over the past three decades, the nation's prison population has exploded from 307,000 to 1.6 million. With so many states facing major budget crises, our failed policy of "mass incarceration" is moving in favor of systematic and adequately funded re-entry efforts. The Second Chance Act, signed last year by then President Bush, was a welcome acknowledgment that the country needs to get better at reintegration. States are now under orders to systematically review barriers to ex-cons' finding housing and jobs. New York, for instance, is opening a number of specialized re-entry units closer to home, where inmates spend the last three to four months of their sentences meeting with state and community social-service agencies to help line up housing, jobs and information on drug-rehab programs and reconnect with their families and neighborhoods.



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