Everyone deserves a second chance. But that is hard to come by for hundreds of thousands of people who are released from prison each year. Most face “collateral consequences” of incarceration and system involvement. These can include barriers to housing, employment, and voting. And these consequences have devastating impacts. They set people up to fail. They don’t increase public safety. And the effects are felt by families and communities, too.
Instead, incarcerated people should be prepared for release. Communities should be resourced to receive and support them. Prison and parole administrators should focus on successful re-entry, not punishment. And state and local governments should remove barriers preventing true reintegration.