About 600,000 people get out of the nation’s prisons every year. Unfortunately, the formerly incarcerated return to custody in alarming numbers. Recidivism research shows that 6 in 10 will be rearrested within three years of their release. One of the primary reasons they go back is joblessness, either due to a lack of a second-chance opportunity or the necessary skills.

Private sector partnerships between educators, the business community, faith-based organizations, non-profits, and state departments of corrections have a positive, pro-social impact on people involved in the criminal justice system. These community institutions create and deliver rehabilitative services and transformative programming. In turn, this gives inmates and the formerly incarcerated the skills they need to be successful.

Mentors and volunteers serving as aspirational role models have an enormous impact on the lives of inmates and are often seen as “family.” Inmates overwhelmingly report that mentors and volunteers are essential to their transformation.

FACT: Research demonstrates that volunteer and mentor visits by members of the community, that is people without a familial or social tie to the inmate, reduce the risk of recidivism by 31%; yet 40% in custody never get a visit from anyone, including family, during the period of their incarceration.

Community involvement in corrections increases public safety and helps to prevent future victims of crime.

"To have the opportunity to meet with someone weekly, and offer that safe place...there's just no telling what change can happen in a person's life."

-Susan R, Mentor

"To have people that understand and come from a non-judgemental place makes a big difference."

Erica S, Hope Works Graduate

"I think it's really important that we put a lot of focus on the dignity of every human being.

Kevin W, Employer