What's it like to get out of prison?
There are 48,000 legal restrictions on
those with criminal records, according
to Prison Fellowship. For example,
in Colorado, you can’t call a bingo game
(or even help with one) if you have
been convicted of a felony. New York
applies a similar restriction. In Michigan,
you can’t have a dog that's part wolf.
In Oklahoma, you can't own or operate
any coin-operated device like machines
at a laundromat or even a gumball mach-
ine. In Texas, no one convicted of a
felony can ever be involved in
the formation of a corporation.
Some states block any person with
a criminal record from becoming
a barber, hairstylist, cosmotologist,
manicurist or massage therapist.
When these restrictions are unrelated
to a person's crime, it makes it
unnecessarily hard for people with
a criminal record to provide
for themselves and their families.
Second Chance Tour
St. John the Baptist
Substance Abuse Coalition
Center for Justice
New York, NY
Faith Lutheran Church
Second Chance Summit
ASU Project Humanities
ASU Student Pavilion
Comments from Simulations:
"Inspiring. Difficult. Insightful"
"I'm usually an optimistic person, but I found this simulation soul destroying!
I couldn't do anything right!...
I felt that I was being set up for failure, however hard I tried to follow the system.
I got more & more depressed & just wanted
to give up. Even though some organizations
(the food bank & probation officer) showed kindness & offered positive help,
I still felt like a failure."
"Helpless. Why bother to try?"
"Frustrating. Mad. Sad"
"My experience with the re-entry simulation for prisoners was an eye-opener. As I started my "pretend" process back into the real world, I became confused as to what I needed to do first. I was given quite a good start with a family and money , but it was still a very big challenge."
"Super stressful. Live changing."
"Inmates are never done
with their sentence,
even after they're released.."
"This event opened my mind and made me more respectful towards reentry."
"Do this on every university campus."
"It seems as if one is destined for failure when released from prison & that's such a shame.
I needed some I.D., which I managed to lose. I had to hock my radio to get money to pay my parole officer & I got back $5 less because they didn't have the correct change...
I couldn't get money for my plasma because I didn't pass the drugs tests &
after two failures, wound up in jail."
Before I went to jail, they did a body search. It was similar to how it would be done in a real prison. Without giving the details of this search, let me say that it was humiliating!"
The re-entry simulation was an extremely valuable learning experience for me. I've been out of Social Services work for more than 15 years & a lot has changed. I was staggered by the services the re-entry folks had to pay for. In my day, the county paid for parole, probation & drug tests. I was familiar with the waiting lines & poor access to treatment. Transportation costs are very real, especially when the Social Service offices are only open till 4 PM and are across town, & require bus transfers to get there. It makes it worse if you have a daytime job & cannot get the time off to see your probation person. The system is set up to make folks fail & return to jail or prison. A great learning experience
for every community.