Employment for Ex-Prisoners A Big Challenge For TX Re-Entry Services


Texas releases 75,000 inmates every years, and Texas Re-Entry Services tries to give many of them the tools they need to find employment and housing, says the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. In the three years after release, about 32 percent of jail offenders and 24 percent of the prison population will be re-incarcerated, says a new report from the Sunset Advisory Commission. Taxpayers bear the burden when offenders are re-incarcerated at an average cost of $50.79 per day.

Finding housing and employment are crucial to an ex-offender’s successful reintegration into society, but after serving their time, many ex-offenders find that they cannot get a job without a home address and cannot find a place to live without the money to pay rent. So they may end up roaming the streets. In survey of homless people last year in Tarrant County, more than 76 percent of the 410 people surveyed said their criminal records were the main reason they were unemployed. Kay Smith, founder of Texas Re-Entry Services, said: “If you are coming out of state prison you get $100, a bus ticket home and a suit of clothes. If they have a place to go they’re lucky. If they aren’t lucky they end up homeless.” During the past three fiscal years, funding cuts have curtailed Re-Entry Services’ reach, Smith said.

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