An estimated one in three American adults has a criminal record, and over 2.3 million people are incarcerated in this country. Given that over 95% of incarcerated individuals will reenter society, ensuring that they do not commit another crime should be a federal priority.
The solution is clear—corrections policy needs to promote work. But even though having a job is the clearest indicator of how likely someone is to re-offend, between 60% and 75% of ex-offenders remain unemployed one year after their release. To help fix this problem, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) introduced the Prison Reform and Redemption Act.
As the momentum behind this reform shows, being tough on crime is perfectly compatible with wanting individuals with records to find work and become independent. In the following interview, Rep. Collins explains how the federal government can reduce recidivism by giving ex-cons a fresh start.