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Studies show that if an ex-offender finds employment, the likelihood that they will re-offend drops. But employment is not always easy to find when you are an ex-convict; the unemployment rate for former offenders is roughly five times higher than that of the general public. 

Now, The MilLiberty Initiative is doing something to change that statistic. 

The group’s Reintegration Project is designed to offer a market-based solution to increasing employment in ex-offenders, and therefore reducing recidivism. Describing this advocacy project, they state: 

“Our current justice system all but ensures people who went to prison over a nonviolent crime will return due to the felony on their record preventing them from getting a job. Because they cannot get a job, most will return to the lifestyle that sent them there in the first place, and the cycle continues.

The Reintegration Project will seek to break this cycle by working with businesses all across the country to commit to hiring nonviolent offenders so they can get their life back on track.”

This project targets businesses of all sizes. The first step will be for a business to sign the “Pledge of Reintegration.” By signing this pledge, the business is promising not to hire or fire based on nonviolent offenses alone. 

For businesses that are larger and can afford to go an extra step, The MilLiberty Initiative will work with them to develop a specific plan for hiring nonviolent former offenders as a certain percentage of their workforce. All businesses that sign the pledge or develop a hiring plan will be included on a growing participant list, which can then be used to encourage others to join. 

This pledge isn’t industry-specific – it’s even being signed in the political world. Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) has joined the list of employers who will not let someone’s nonviolent offense bar them from being employed by their organization. 

YAL’s national president Cliff Maloney tweeted: 

Employing a former nonviolent offender could permanently change a life for the better. Kudos to The MilLiberty Initiative for working diligently to push such a great market-based solution.

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