(NPR) – In the 1990s, states went on a prison-building binge. Today, millions who spent time in those prisons are back in society — and many are struggling to find work.
Jay Neal is in charge of Georgia’s new office of re-entry. Its purpose is clear: “Helping Georgia’s returning citizens find training, assisting Georgia’s returning citizens find jobs,” he reads off the website.
Returning citizens is America’s new term for ex-prisoners, ex-cons and former inmates.
Six-hundred thousand of these citizens return to society each year, including 20,000 in Georgia, which has the country’s fifth-largest prison system.