Post Incarceration Employment

November 14th, 2012

This week, we delve into the shadow, looking at a part of our society often hidden from view: the prison population. We discuss the plight of the post-incarceration job-seeker, and we ask our guests some hard questions. What does our prison population look like? What is it like to emerge from prison after a decade or more and try to find work that pays enough for the necessities of life? What kinds of programs exist to ease the transition, and how do these programs affect recidivism rates?

The consequences of being imprisoned go far beyond time served and fines paid. Our guests delve into the causes and effects of the cycle of poverty and crime, and how that cycle can be interrupted. We then focus more specifically on what creates post-incarceration job success and the parts government and business can play in creating positive outcomes. And we end with a discussion of the economics of crime, incarceration, and the employment ex-offenders. What incentives, policies, and programs are changing outcomes for communities and individuals?

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Doug Ammar, J.D.

Attorney and Executive Director of The Georgia Justice Project,  Doug works on several fronts to change outcomes for low-income clients. For 25 years, the mission of the GJP has been to defend poor people accused of crimes and, win or lose, stand with them as they rebuild their lives. The GJP provides free legal representation and long-term social services and employment support. As a privately funded organization, the GJP has been able to advocate for criminal justice reform. For more information, see
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Christy Visher, Ph.D.
Currently Director for the Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies at the University of Delaware, Christy Visher has also worked as Principal Research Associate with the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute at Washington D.C., where she led a longitudinal study, Returning Home, of men and women released from prison. Dr. Visher is interested in the effects of crime and the treatment of criminals on communities, and the evaluation of strategies and programs that address these issues. To find out more about Dr. Visher’s work, visit

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Robynn Cox, Ph. D.
Dr. Cox’s new course, The Economics of Crime, is popular on the Spelman College campus. Currently, Dr. Cox’s research is concerned with the impact of incarceration on various aspects of the former inmate’s life such as employment, wages, health, and family. Dr. Cox has been awarded the Young Investigator Development Grant, and a small grant under the Research Program on Childhood Hunger to conduct her investigations. Most recently, Dr. Cox was invited by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to take part in a roundtable conversation on work force development and employment strategies of the formerly incarcerated. To learn more, visit

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For Further Exploration:
“In Search of a Job: Criminal Records as Barriers to Employment” by Amy L. Solomon

Excerpt from The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander

“Employing Ex-Offenders” by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Describes the Federal Bonding Program and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

One Comment

by Doug Ammar Interviewed for Business Matters Radio Program | Georgia Justice Project on November 26th, 2012 at 11:09 am

[…] and Doug sets up the topic for the other guests with his insightful comments.  Check it out here , share it with your colleagues, and – as always – we’d love to know what you […]

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