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Out of Prison & Out of Work: Unemployment Among Formerly Incarcerated People

Prison Policy Initiative logoUsing a nationally representative dataset, this report from the Prison Policy Initiative provides the first-ever estimate of unemployment among the 5 million formerly incarcerated people living in the United States. The analysis shows that formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of over 27 percent—higher than the total U.S. unemployment rate during any historical period, including the Great Depression. The recommendations presented in this report illustrate that there are policy solutions available that would create safer and more equitable communities by addressing unemployment among formerly incarcerated people.