Prison Law Blog

Sara Mayeux

John McWhorter on Prisoner Reentry and Unemployment

with 2 comments

John McWhorter has an interesting piece over at The Root on prisoner reentry and black unemployment. McWhorter spotlights a few promising reentry/employment programs in Newark, N.J. McWhorter suggests that finding an employer willing to hire folks with criminal records is actually not the biggest hurdle for ex-prisoners — rather, it’s all the steps you have to go through before you can even think about going on an interview:

The immediate task at hand for an ex-offender is becoming able to work. Ex-cons often don’t have a Social Security number — and forget about a birth certificate. … Nine in 10 clients need detoxification or rehabilitation.

(BTW: Unlike Obama, Newark mayor Cory Booker has been known to voluntarily bring up the problem of mass incarceration in speeches where he could have gotten away with uplifting pablum. It’s probably no accident that Newark has some promising programs.)

Written by sara

January 27, 2011 at 8:21 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Prison Legal News prints a lot of realy good information. For the serious advocate this is a must read.

    Steve Swimmer

    January 28, 2011 at 8:07 am

  2. I have to strongly disagree with Mr. McWhorter’s analysis, and his facts. Jobs are *not* as he says “the easy part”. In this economy, with so many out of work, most employers send ex-felons’ applications straight to the recycling bin. Ree-entry programs are critical, and can prepare and point parolees in the right direction. But, contrary to what the author says, jobs are then most difficult part, in part because so many job apps. require disclosure of a broad spectrum of convictions. That is why “Ban the Box” initiatives which prohibit employers from demanding wholesale disclosure of prior convictions, are so critical to successful re-entry, and for the future of affected communities. McWhorter completely fails to address this.


    January 30, 2011 at 1:32 am

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