Mass Incarceration's Impact on Jobs and Hunger

August 14, 2019
Bryan Stevenson is the Founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative.

As we continue to observe Black August — a month that focuses on the unjust treatment of African Americans in our criminal justice system — Bread affirms the adverse impact that mass incarceration has on unemployment, a major root cause of hunger in the African American community.

Mass incarceration hurts a person’s ability to get, and keep, a good-paying job.

Jobs are critically important to earn an income and provide for a family. Unfortunately, 70 percent of people returning from jail or prison report having a difficult, or impossible, time securing employment.

Employers can still legally discriminate against people with a record, making it harder to get a job paying above poverty-level wages and put food on the table.

But this harsh reality need not continue. To learn more about the impact of mass incarceration on jobs and hunger and what you can do to help, read Mass Incarceration: A Major Cause of Hunger.

91% of people returning from jail and prison face hunger

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