It’s Time to Rethink Prisoner Re-Entry

Six million, seven hundred forty-one thousand, four hundred.

That’s how many Americans are currently entangled in our criminal justice system. The combination of the millions in state, federal and local incarceration with the millions on probation or parole means that around 2 percent of the U.S. population is somehow involved in our criminal justice system — more than the entire population of Indiana or Maryland. And this comes at a high price: Around $21,000 per year for every minimum-security prisoner and $33,000 for every maximum security prisoner.

Such numbers are not sustainable. If there is to be any lasting change to our system, people living with a criminal record must be given genuine opportunities to re-enter society.