A felon’s life after serving a prison sentence is incredibly tough. Not only will the outside world have changed over the course of the average prison sentence (four and a half years, according to the Almanac of Policy Issues), but so will the kinds of skills that are in high demand.
In years past, former inmates who wanted to better themselves were able to find work using the education and training available to them while behind bars. As more and more work transitions into skilled computer tasks, people whose computer skills are lacking have a harder time finding jobs. Unfortunately, many reformed inmates fall into this category.
Employers typically hire individuals with a clean records over a former inmates. Released prisoners also frequently have trouble getting back in touch with their families as well. When felons are met with nothing but rejection as they reintegrate into society, it can have a psychological effect that may lead to repeat offenses, since committing crimes becomes their only apparent option.
To break this cycle, there are organizations that are designed to help felons find their place in society. One such group, Exodus Transitional Community, helps hundreds of released prisoners in the New York Area every year.