The Las Vegas Sun reports on the challenges that many parolees face: returning to society after losing a job, a home and a family as a result of imprisonment, with little direction and even fewer resources. Many return to crime–and prison. “The majority of people really do want to change,” said Jon Ponder, founder of Hope for Prisoners, a nonprofit that helps ex-offenders adjust. “They have no idea how to do it.” “They have no tools,” another source told the Sun.
A 2011 study by the Pew Center found that more than 40 percent of offenders nationwide returned to state prison within three years of their release. The paper cites that example of Guy Moore, a felon who resurrected his life with the help of the Las Vegas Urban League’s RExO Champs, which aids recently released offenders. Now Moore works at the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas as a chef in its Westside Bistro. He received funding through the Urban League to attend the Culinary Academy and was hired a few months later. Re-entry advocates in Las Vegas said it's a gradual process to gain the trust of local employers — made doubly hard by an excess of talented people who find themselves unemployed because of the economy.