Jim's Quotes

Quote of the Month: November 2023

"Having a close family member who has been incarcerated is more common than any of us had anticipated"

—Christopher Wildeman, Cornell University

"Having a close family member who has been incarcerated is more common than any of us
had anticipated"

—Christopher Wildeman, Cornell University


According to U.S. criminal record statistics 80 million—1 in every 3—U.S. adults have a criminal record. In fact,a study by Cornell University, headed by Christopher Wildeman, found that 45% of U.S. citizens have a "close family member" who has served time, and for the vast majority, it isn't Martha Stewart. 

The fact is, there are 2 million people in prison in the U.S., and over the past four decades that number has increased by 500% due, in part, to the overwhelming increase of illicit drugs, a breakdown in the family, and a media that chases ratings by ginning up division between races, religions, and political points of view.

We tend to think the people we know are somehow not like those other people in jail or prison. But the truth is, good people make mistakes, and it is a cruel and shortsighted society that does not work to bring restoration to the lives of those who want a second chance. A criminal record shouldn't be a life sentence to poverty. But still, nine out of 10 employers do background checks, which can eliminate any chance of offering a job to that person. It is no wonder that 89% of those re-arrested are unemployed. 

Meanwhile, four in five landlords, and three in five colleges and universities now use background checks to screen out applicants with criminal records. Often called “collateral consequences,” the resulting barriers to employment, housing, education, and other basics put economic stability—let alone upward mobility—out of reach for tens of millions of individuals and their families. It hurts them, their families, their neighborhoods, cities, and the economy as a whole.

Since one-third of U.S. adults have a criminal record, doesn't sanity dictate that our policies must be geared to restoration of the home, the family, and the future of the reentrant? This is not brain surgery. It starts with getting a job that pays a living wage and the support of the community in the form of basics, like counseling, housing, drug rehabilitation, licensing, transportation assistance, and more. 

Want to bring down those crime statistics? First we have to bring down the recidivism percentages. Restoration is the answer. 


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241 West 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208


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Our mission is to reduce recidivism and rebuild lives through the dignity of work.