“An estimated 70 million or more Americans have some kind of criminal record. Each year, more than 600,000 individuals are released from Federal and State prisons, and millions more are released each year from local jails. Promoting the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals who have paid their debt to society makes communities safer by reducing recidivism and victimization; assists those who return from prison, jail, or juvenile justice facilities to become productive citizens; and saves taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration.
“Providing incarcerated individuals with job and life skills, education programming, and mental health and addiction treatment increases the likelihood that they will be successful when released. Policies that limit opportunities for people with criminal records create barriers to employment, education, housing, health care, and civic participation. All of these are critical to reducing recidivism and strengthening communities.”