In Louisiana, over 17,000 people are released from prison and re-enter society each year. This represents a significant portion of Louisiana’s population and workforce. However, under our current policies, men who have been incarcerated work 9 weeks less per year and take home 40 percent less pay annually than their colleagues.
Instead of creating economic obstacles, Louisiana could ensure that employers are able to safely and securely hire those with a criminal record. The state could also ensure that those who have earned a second chance are able to obtain housing and achieve gainful employment. This makes good economic sense but would also make our state demonstrably safer. Employment has been linked with lower recidivism rates, meaning these policies could both boost employment and cut crime. This policy agenda will strengthen Louisiana’s economy, lift up its citizens, and restore our communities.