TheVoiceOfJoyce There are 10 million jobs available. Interesting statistic, how can unemployment be low when there are so many empty job? Why aren’t these jobs being filled?

I digress , this article is about a small business owner wanting to give jobs to a person who had previously been in jail. They make good workers. Though it’s, sad to learn, 70% of the prison population is illiterate! How is this possible?

Employers need people who can read and write. Perhaps, instead of being strictly punitive, most prisons should be evaluating a person’s skill sets and training them for the real world and better life experiences and choices.

What’s Prison For? Concise diagnosis of a huge American problem

Read more

Many studies, like this one from 2003 by the Urban Institute, found that about 70% of offenders and ex-offenders are high school dropouts. About half are “functionally illiterate”, meaning they can’t read above a fourth-grade level.

Worse, statistics show that 85% of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are essentially illiterate. Penal institution records show that inmates have a 16% chance of returning to prison if they receive literacy help, as opposed to 70% who receive no help. I can’t hire someone – or even teach them the skills my company requires – if they don’t have a high school level of literacy. Being illiterate is a complete non-starter.

Some of the big companies – and good for them – have the resources to help these ex-convicts learn these skills. But small businesses like mine, which employ more than half of the country’s workers, don’t have the ability to do this. So what can be done?

Leave a Reply