What states are helping recently released inmates reintegrate themselves back into society?

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The United States contains 5% of the world’s population, yet houses 25% of the world’s prisoners, according to the American Psychological Association. This means we incarcerate approximately 2.3 million people or 1 in every 100 adults.

The analysts at PrisonEd Foundation are passionate about giving inmates a second chance at a successful life, so, we asked the question: what states are helping recently released inmates reintegrate themselves back into society? With this question in mind, we crunched the numbers and found that:

Vermont is ranked #36  (worst) out of the 45 states looked at for The 10 Best and Worst States for Recently Released Inmates!

Interesting Findings

  • Alaska was ranked as the least friendly state because it has the highest 3-year recidivism rate and only three programs throughout the state to help inmates integrate back into society.
  • Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Utah tied for having the lowest percentage of their population incarcerated. Great job for preventing crime and providing support outside of the prison system!
  • Florida has the highest amount of current and ex-prisoners out of all the states we pulled data for. Due to the number of current prisoners, there is a bigger opportunity to have more education programs than the four they currently have! 
  • California came in first place. The Golden State has a background check law without a salary cap, making them the overall friendliest state.
  • Alabama has the most reentry programs—a total of 19—available to inmates.

The PrisonEd team looked at four different data points to determine which states are the friendliest to ex-felons. We included the number of reentry programs, background check stipulations, recidivism rates, and the population of current or former convicts. Each metric was standardized and weighted before we added them together for the final score. Five states (Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Oregon, and Texas) were excluded from the ranking due to insufficient data reporting.

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