AFTER PRISON: WHO’S THERE TO HELP?
The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other nation, with a jail and prison population that increased from 200,000 to a staggering 2.3 million in the past 40 years. But what happens to all those people after they serve their time and go back into their communities? Not surprisingly, the barriers to living after incarceration are staggering. They face employment discrimination, denial of public benefits and food stamps for their families, exclusion from housing, and let’s not forget that even voting rights are taken away for some.
So what do we do to help make sure these folks don’t return to crime and are able to build their lives?
An organization called “Root and Rebound” in California is helping former prisoners with social support, legal services, education, training, advocacy and litigation.
Our guests this week are Katherine Katcher, founder and executive director of the program, who earned her law degree from UC Berkeley, and Sonja Tonnesen, deputy director at Root & Rebound. These women will join us to talk about the problems and social issues surrounding those released from prison and share some of their successes and ideas for helping the formerly incarcerated rejoin society.