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If a formerly incarcerated person cannot get a legal job that pays enough for them to fully support themselves financially, they will have to find another way to survive. The unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated people in Oakland is 70% - think it’s a coincidence that the unemployment rate is the same as the recidivism rate? The #1 thing a person transitioning home from prison needs is a good job. We start all of our hires coming out of San Quentin at $17.50/hour - $5.25 higher than Oakland’s minimum wage. This living wage policy means our staff can depend on their job at Planting Justice to cover their rent, bills & necessities without needing to engage in the extra-legal economy to survive and advance financially. In an economy that systematically devalues, under-employs and underpays formerly incarcerated people, our $17.50/hour starting wage is a political statement that the labor of former prisoners is valuable and that their success and well-being is a worthy investment. A real living wage is a real incentive to show up for work every day and avoid things that could jeopardize the job.