New Recommendations for Work-Related Prison Reentry
Date:  03-30-2015

Open Society Foundations proposes innovative changes to the employment integration of formerly incarcerated workers
Open Society’s Future of Work project has released a paper authored by national-known reentry consultant Malcolm C. Young which calls for a “major shift” in the way we train formerly incarcerated individuals to enter the labor force upon release. According to Young, the exclusion of so many thousands of returning citizens from sustainable employment opportunities has huge economic and social costs which need to be taken into account. Young reveals the removal of approximately 1.1 million men from the labor market while incarcerated and the restrictions placed on them following release resulted in an annual net loss in gross domestic product of between $57 – 65 billion in 2008 by one estimate and $100 - $200 billion annually by another.

“The whole system needs to change,” Young told Reentry Central. “We need to involve private business and community college-level training to prepare returning citizens for the new world of work they will face when they come home. For all the reasons we should devote resources to helping returning prisoners enter an increasingly competitive, technological workforce, we should similarly help others in the disadvantaged communities to which they return: preventing crime before it happens…”

The Future of Work Project has published an excellent guide to organizations which specialize in work-related re-entry issues, and a well-research bibliography of studies on the subject. Young also recommends a comprehensive list of resources regarding prison reentry strategies.

Read The Open Society Foundation's position paper authored by Young, The Returning Prisoner and the Future of Work here.

The Program for Prison Reentry Strategies Recommendations for Work-Related Prison Reentry can be read here.