Adjusting to life after prison becomes difficult for felons. There are many issues that they have to face.
The first is unemployment rates are higher, especially for those of color. In a dataset conducted by Prison Policy, they found that among the 5 million people formerly incarcerated in the U.S. had an unemployment rate of over 27 percent. That rate is higher than the total U.S. unemployment rate during any historical period, including the great depression.
Those that are black or hispanic have even higher rates of unemployment after being incarcerated. For black women, the unemployment rate increases significantly. The regular unemployment rate for the general population of black women is 6.4 percent. After incarceration, the rate of unemployment is 43.6 percent. For white women, the unemployment rate for the general population is 4.3 percent. After incarceration, the employment rate is 23.2 percent. Those numbers are almost doubled in half.
It is a similar situation when comparing black and white men. The general population of black men have an unemployment rate of 7.7 percent. After incarceration, the unemployment rate is 35.2 percent. For white men, the unemployment rate for the general population is 4.3 percent, and after incarceration, it is 18.4 percent.
Race and gender also plays a significant role in the type of job in which one can attain. After being incarcerated, white men are more like able to work in full-time positions, whereas black women are only able to work part-time or occasional jobs.
The second issue is the denial of civil rights.
Some civil rights that are taken from felons include:
The denial of food stamps
The right to bear arms or own guns
Jury service (being on a jury)
Without many of these civil rights, it is hard for someone transitioning from prison into the real world. Those who aren't able to attain a job right away or lose it, won't have access to food stamps, making it very stressful finding food. Jim Crow laws find a place in the denial of civil rights.
These constrictions make it harder for a felon to support themselves or their families, with a higher chance of them landing back in prison.