Young adulthood is a crucial period that can determine a person’s success later in life. This moment in time establishes a trajectory for work experience, education and training, and financial stability.
Unfortunately, many previously incarcerated young adults—those ages 18 to 24—face collateral consequences from policies and laws that make it difficult to obtain employment and education even after they are released from incarceration. The federal government has a role to play in enabling successful reentry across the country, but states and localities can pave the way within their own jurisdictions—and many already have, says this report from the Center for American Progress.
The study highlights promising practices at the state and local levels for improving the economic outcomes of reentering young adults, addressing barriers to reentry, and reducing recidivism. Among the report’s suggestions:
- Guarantee access to identification upon release.
- Ensure access to a social safety net that provides financial stability and enables employment.
- Adequately fund and structure workforce development programs dedicated to formerly incarcerated young adults.
- Enact employment policies that facilitate fair access to the labor market.