1 in every 3 Americans has a Criminal Record. Sign now to help formerly incarcerated individuals re-enter society

In America, one in three people have a criminal record, ranging from simple arrest records to actual convictions, and these convictions create obstacles to entry into many areas of American life, including voting, employment, housing, healthcare, and education. The war on drugs, including targeted policing, stricter statutes, and mandatory minimums, has resulted in heightened scrutiny and disproportionate sentencing for communities of color, particularly Black communities, compared to similarly situated white subjects.

2.7 million children in America are growing up with an incarcerated parent, and two-thirds of those parents have non-violent convictions. This not only creates a cycle of poverty but also perpetuates systemic racism as a result of the disproportionate number of convictions for communities of color, particularly Black communities.

Criminal records present long-lasting barriers for individuals attempting to reintegrate into society after serving their sentences, regardless of their innocence. Chester Hollman III was freed from prison after more than 30 years when evidence showed he was likely innocent of the crime he had been convicted of. Anna*, a survivor of domestic violence and rape, served over 26 years in prison. Despite taking every opportunity to better themselves while incarcerated, upon release, they had trouble finding stable employment due to the stigma of having a criminal record.

The National Urban League, who has served formerly incarcerated adults for more than 50 years, created the Urban Reentry Jobs Program (URJP) to address this inequity. URJP provides formerly incarcerated adults with the necessary skills and training to successfully re-enter the job market and find a position with a livable wage that can lead to a career with an elevated income.

We must do more to help formerly incarcerated individuals, especially as they are already at a disadvantage due to the stigma of their criminal record. Sign now to help individuals with criminal records find stable employment and reintegrate into society!

*Name changed to protect the individual's identity
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