The goal of the program isn’t just to receive an education, however. Graduates are given resources to find a job upon release. Black people behind bars now finally have a chance for gainful employment despite their pasts.
Career resources for formerly incarcerated individuals are important as the system often keeps us imprisoned long after we’ve left the cell. For example, the average working person is employed for 78% of the time, versus just 58% of the time for formerly incarcerated people.
In a just society there would be no need for second chances. But in this society devoid of opportunity for our people, the gateway to prison widens, especially for those already with a record. The system prevents us from getting good jobs and providing for ourselves. With nowhere to turn, illegal options become survival tools to build the prison pipeline.
Formerly incarcerated Black people deserve a good chance at life. Often our crimes are a result of the systemic challenges we face in this country. Until justice is transformed, we have to do what we can to support our people behind bars. Programs like this could help their lives return to normal.