One effect of the criminal justice system that needs to be talked about more is the lack of employment opportunities for convicts once they are no longer incarcerated. As anyone who’s applied for a job would know, every employer asks a question concerning any criminal activity you might have been involved in or convicted of doing. Employers often will not choose someone with a criminal record if there are applicants with clean records going for the same job. Additionally, there are not too many resources available for convicts while they are incarcerated so they are often unprepared to join society once again. This has ultimately created a cycle of incarceration. Although this isn’t mentioned in the article, 76% of all inmates, nationally, end up back in jail within 5 years of being let out.

One solution being proposed is to create resources that teach inmates entrepreneurial skills as well as good habits and useful information for starting a business, so they can be their own bosses. The specific programs this article focuses on are called Starter U and Inmates to Entrepreneurs. These programs are designed specifically for inmates who are interested in starting a business and provides them with useful online learning resources that they can access while incarcerated. They don’t have to wait until they are out.

Proponents of a criminal justice system that values punishment rather than rehabilitation, because this is definitely a rehabilitative practice, in a sense. They might say that resources like these aren’t worth taxpayer money, etc.

When you consider how much taxpayer money goes into the criminal justice system already, supported by the fact that the United States has one of the largest prison populations in the world (2.3 million people), and the cycle of incarceration supported by the statistic in my first paragraph, I would say that it costs much more taxpayer money than it would to pay for resources like Solution U and Inmates to Entrepreneurs. This solution seems to be a good start to a much longer conversation on possible reform of the criminal justice system in this country. There’s much more to be done.

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  1. Fatima Esparza 2 weeks ago

    Dear Patrick :
    I am impacted by your post, “Inmates are learning to be their own bosses after they leave jail behind
    ,” because it is so sad that people treat their own in a bad way not giving them opportunities just because of a mistake they committed. As a society, we should be able to give the people who are willing to change and become better in their future and give them the opportunity to become someone better.
    One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “76% of all inmates, nationally, end up back in jail within 5 years of being let out.” I think this is absurd because when those inmates go to find a job they are denied the opportunity to receive a job because of a mistake that they made before.
    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I think it is very interesting because of the lack of human society has. Also, I found the way you demonstrate the information and express it.
    Fatima Esparza

  2. Grace 3 weeks ago

    Patrick- I think you bring up some really unique points here- this is not an issue that is commonly discussed. The cycle of former-inmates not being prioritized for jobs worsens their likelihood of being able to create a stable life for themselves and put themselves into a position to not get into trouble again. These resources are great. Ultimately, if taxpayers invest in programs such as these, there should be a decrease in second crime rates. Therefore, it is extremely cost effective, equally as expensive and more influential/ likely to make a positive impact on human society. It will encourage those who are let out of jail to stay on track.

  3. Dominique Cano 3 weeks ago

    Dear Patrick, I am very interested in your writing. I absolutely agree with you. I feel like this would be great for those incarcerated, it is giving them a second chance and I believe everybody should get a second chance. One sentence you wrote that stands out to me is when you stated, “These programs are designed specifically for inmates who are interested in starting a business and provides them with useful online learning resources that they can access while incarcerated.” This gives me reassurance that only those who really want to do it will do it and not waste time. Thanks for your writing!

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