Department of jails and prisons
Nearly 650,000 people are released from America’s prisons each year. They return to their communities needing housing and jobs, but their prospects are generally hindered by their history. Close to three quarters have a history of substance abuse, and more than two thirds have not completed a high school level education. More than one third have a physical or mental disability.
These former prisoners are going home to some of the poorest neighborhoods, where they often lack stable social bonds and support networks and where there are few services to help them restart their lives. Given the huge gaps between their complex challenges and their limited opportunities, it is not surprising that recidivism rates are high. In fact, more than half (52 percent) of former state prisoners are back behind bars within three years after their release, either as a result of a parole violation or because they have committed a new crime.
The United States spends over $60 billion a year on prisons and jails. More than $3,500 per year for probation. Empowered to Change is needed more now than ever before.
Clients who have been in the court system may be given an opportunity by the court to move into an outside program. Empowered to Change has a presence in the court room. We may be asked to give incarcerated or potential incarceration individuals an opportunity to enter a program designed to work through and work out the sentence given by the court. ETC provides clients public transportation, and food until they obtain employment. They are required to abide by all ETC rules and regulations, attend AA/NA meetings, and work out the steps of our program.