It takes 21 days to form a habit. 

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Week 3: Criminal Justice Reform
Today's Challenge: After Prison
Life after prison can often be just as difficult as time spent behind bars. Most former convicts struggle with culture shock, mental health issues, disenfranchisement, unemployment, and a whole host of other problems upon release. Today, we will learn more about some of those issues and the struggle the formerly incarcerated face when trying to re-engage in society.

We Challenge You To Take...

Long-term imprisonment inevitably changes the personalities of former convicts. Read these findings from interviews with 25 former 'lifers,' who had served an average of 19 years in jail. 
Formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of over 27% - higher than the total U.S. unemployment rate during any historical period, including the Great Depression. Read this article which outlines the barriers formerly incarcerated people face when looking for employment.

Maryam Henderson-Uloho was convicted of obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 25 years in a Louisiana prison. When she was released, she felt dehumanized. Watch the incredible story of how she turned her life around and continues to support other female ex-offenders.
After serving a total of 25 years behind bars, Jonathan was released under the First Step Act. As a middle-aged former felon, he faces a world full of new challenges with the unintended consequences of a long sentence. Listen here for his experience in life after prison. 
Thousands of Tennesseans released from incarceration during these past few months have re-entered a much different society, greatly affected by COVID-19. With businesses closed, a depressed economy, and lack of essential and basic resources, they are cut off from necessary lifelines needed to rebuild their lives. Read more about the challenges they face.

Criminal Justice Reform Week Action Items

Consider this reentry program volunteer opportunity to help the recently incarcerated move into a successful life and become positive contributors to our community.

Since 2014, The Marshall Project has been curating some of the best criminal justice reporting from around the web. In these records you will find the most recent and the most authoritative articles on the topics, people and events that are shaping the criminal justice conversation. Explore this page full of videos, articles, etc., from various viewpoints on the prison system.
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