Ohio Justice & Policy Center builds inroads for those who have been locked up, marginalized by society
1 out of every 6 Ohioans has a criminal record. That’s 1 in 6 people who, every time it’s asked on a job application to check that box if they’ve ever been convicted of a crime, are way less likely to find employment. Suddenly, the help wanted sign turns into a ‘we’ll get back to you’ line, only they never do.
One of the major factors contributing to criminal activity is unemployment or low-pay. Many of the people who serve their time in prison reform their way of thinking, and possibly gain useful skills that would actually make them more marketable for future jobs, only they’re released into an economic environment with very, very few doors that will open to anyone with a criminal record. So what are they supposed to do now?
The answer, frequently, is the opposite of what we’d like to see from those who’ve served time in our prison system. Instead of becoming ‘corrected’ and becoming productive members of society, roughly 3 out of every 4 inmates released from prison will return within 5 years. When individuals don’t have the means to get a job, or become discouraged by the rejection that the job-hunting process is for a convicted criminal, they tend to get desperate, and turn back to crime in order to survive.
Luckily, there are groups like the Ohio Justice and Policy Center in Cincinnati that work tirelessly to help those who are marginalized from society for their past criminal activities find opportunities that would help them out of the cycle of crime. It is a group that reduces reliance on incarceration to stop crime, promotes the humane treatment of inmates, helps seeks opportunities for released inmates, and promotes evidence-based criminal justice instead of political sound-bytes like ‘tough on crime’ that don’t actually help reduce crime. In order to learn more, visit their website ohiojpc.org.