The recidivism rate for incarcerated people stands at 80%, and this is caused mainly by lack of jobs and support for reformed criminals. What is it like to go to jail and start completely from scratch? What do we learn from the men and women who have gone through jail and come out on the other side? How can we help these people get second chances and improve their lives? On this episode, former inmate and founder of 70 Million Jobs, Richard Bronson, shares on: his journey, living a life of relentless honesty, and leveraging his unique story.
Jobs truly are the silver bullet to getting rid of recidivism. -Richard Bronson
3 Things We Learned
The recidivism rate in America is shockingly high
There’s an 80% chance that someone who has left jail will be re-arrested within 5 years.
2/3 of those people will get arrested within 3 years and 90% will be unemployed at the time of their re-arrest
We can learn a lot from inmates
Talking with inmates allows us to connect with people who have led a life so challenging, with so few options, that there was an inevitability of how things would turn out for them. Yet, these people still manage to be optimistic and hopeful. That’s something we could bring into our own lives.
People are more capable of forgiveness than we can imagine
People have incredibly big hearts and it often makes them feel good to forgive. In order to see this, you must be sincere and open, and give the other person the opportunity to forgive.
It’s very easy and comforting for us t walk around with the belief there are absolutes regarding morality, and that a person who goes to jail is just bad. But these attitudes are exactly what’s contributing to the high recidivism rates. Former inmates are shunned, discriminated against and shut out from job opportunities. We have to understand the circumstances many of these people faced and how it led them down the path to prison. If we can see them as people deserving of a real shot at a second chance, we’ll allow the opportunity for reform and a drop in recidivism.
Richard Bronson career began on Wall Street, where he managed money at Lehman Bros. and Bear Stearns. He then become a partner at Stratton Oakmont, the firm featured in the movie, the firm featured in the film Wolf of Wall Street. He eventually went on the found Biltmore Securities, a registered broker-dealer based in South Florida. Richard grew Biltmore to nearly 500 employees, spread out over four national offices, and took many companies public. After Biltmore, Richard founded Channels Magazine and launched several successful consumer product and service businesses. Richard was convicted of securities fraud in 2002, arising from his activities in the 1990s and served two years in a Federal prison camp. To get in touch, email firstname.lastname@example.org.