Matt Mangino, who authors The Cautionary Instruction here each Friday, has written an examination for the Legal Intelligencer of the longterm costs to individuals and society of the the barriers facing former prisoners who try to seek out a new start in the community:
"An offender facing reintegration into the community must deal with many obstacles. Finding employment may be the most difficult obstacle and yet may be the most important component of success. Offenders returning home from prison often identify employment as the most important factor that helped them stay crime-free, according to the National Re-entry Resource Center.
"The unemployment rate of formerly incarcerated offenders one year after release may be as high as 60 percent, according to Joan Petersilia in When Prisoners Come Home, and there is an increasing reluctance among employers to hire people with criminal histories."