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People Leaving Prison Are Begging for Jobs with No Success.

Updated: May 12, 2023

People leaving prison are having a hard time finding a job, despite endless applications. The pandemic has only made things worse.


For formerly incarcerated people, the ability to find employment has only become harder over the last year. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unemployment in the U.S. to skyrocket to unprecedented heights not seen since 1948, when jobless data collection began. At the peak in April 2020, unemployment hit nearly 15 percent, which translates to one in seven workers in America facing joblessness.


This is nothing new for people leaving prison. COVID-19 only made it harder to progress.

“While employment has somewhat rebounded recently, things have not improved for people reentering society after leaving prison.”

Long before the pandemic, formerly incarcerated people had a higher rate of unemployment than the general population - on average, formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27 percent, according to research by the Prison Policy Institute.


What are the biggest barriers to reentry employment?


The biggest barriers to finding stable employment after incarceration are attributed from lack of adequate education and training and being required to disclosing conviction history when applying for a job. Three out of four surveyed participants said that finding employment after release was difficult or nearly impossible according to whopaysreport.org.


The Perseverance Project is Changing Our Community.

Get Inspired


Since being released in 2020, Juwan found himself heading down a violent and unforgiving path. Knowing he needed to make a change, Juwan reached out to his close friend Jimmy Moody to find help and support. Juwan was the first young adult to enroll in TPP’s re-entry program because he believed in the mission and trusted the staff. Juwan now is the lead landscaper at Sully’s Lawn Care. Juwan is active in his counseling sessions and attends group grief counseling.

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