Experts say that the reason the U.S. leads the world in incarceration is because of a shortage of inmate reentry programs, which cause people to enter the same patterns that got them in prison originally, Scripps News reports. Nationwide, more than half of the formerly incarcerated are unable to find stable employment within their first year of return, and 75% of them are rearrested within their first three years of release, according to the Brookings Institution. The American Psychological Association said that the lack of adequate reentry programs “leaves men and women with minimal preparation.”
Formerly incarcerated people are 10 times more likely to be homeless than the general population, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. They are also half as likely as others to get a call back from a prospective employer. Brian Johnson, who was incarcerated, was in a homeless shelter for two weeks after his release. However, a family member welcomed him and he got a job interview at Walmart. "The system, to me, adds to the recidivism rate," Johnson said. "You know, I did a paper on this when I was in prison ... I was sad. Not only because you're incarcerated, isolated from society, but because you're sitting here like, 'Who do I ask for help?'"