Supply Chain Council of European Union | Scceu.org
News

The Concrete Ceiling – Supply Chain Management Review




By ·

What’s more, the problem is growing. Consider this: When the first Congress convened in 1790, there were only three federal criminal laws on the books: piracy, counterfeiting and treason. Today, that number exceeds 5,000, and that number doesn’t include over 300,000 federal criminal regulations. Enforcing them has led to an explosion of incarcerations: While the United States is home to only 4% of the world’s population, we are home to 25% of the world’s prison population. Today, an estimated one in three individuals has a criminal record. In fact, more people in this country have a criminal record than a college degree. What’s more, over 700,000 individuals are released from prison every year after they have completed their sentences and return home to their families and communities. Given the sheer numbers, the sad reality is that individuals with a criminal record aren’t hard to find: They are your neighbor, the parent of your children’s friends at school and the stranger in the back pew of your house of worship.

Recidivism rates are staggering, with more than 75% of those 700,000 are re-arrested, and likely returning to prison, within five years of their release. The light at the end of the tunnel is that for those who find a job within one year, the recidivism rate drops to just 7%. “We know that good, steady employment reduces the likelihood of an individual re-offending,” Thomas Dart, the sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago, has stated, “which is why we offer job training and job readiness programs to our detainees in order to help them end the cycle of incarceration.” When a job is further complemented by wraparound services that help with housing, mental health and substance abuse treatment, the odds of a successful reentry continue to improve.

The concrete ceiling

So far, so good, right? Especially in the context of the supply chain, which, at least until COVID-19, was experiencing 100% annual turnover in positions in industrial facilities, at ports and shipping locations and in the trucking industry. And, of course, supply chain was not alone in experiencing a shortage of willing and loyal associates. Yet, individuals with criminal records face barriers to resources that are essential to daily living, such as access to housing, education, health care and others. That lack of access creates the virtual concrete ceiling when it comes to finding a job that can seem as oppressive as the physical walls of a prison.

“For many people leaving prison, the majority of whom are poor people of color returning to socially isolated, under-resourced communities, re-entry is more accurately described as ‘a temporary position between freedom and re-commitment’ to state custody,” the researchers Alfred Blumstein and Allen J. Beck have written. It is a vicious cycle that wastes lives, drains state and federal budgets and creates an environment that makes our society less safe.

The lack of resources is exacerbated by states budgets that are overburdened by the rising costs of incarceration, often outspending public education budgets at a rate of nearly two to one. Annually, our country loses nearly $57 billion in gross domestic product these individuals could have contributed to the economy, to say nothing of the downstream effects of incarceration on the family unit. Children with an incarcerated parent are two-thirds more likely to become justice-involved at some point in their own lives, beginning—or continuing—a generational cycle of offenders. The system, as it currently exists, benefits no one. Simply put, the denial of the opportunity to work will result in a continuous cycle of release and re-incarceration that will drain our communities of resources and make our streets less safe.

This is where business can play an integral role.

By ·

What’s more, the problem is growing. Consider this: When the first Congress convened in 1790, there were only three federal criminal laws on the books: piracy, counterfeiting and treason. Today, that number exceeds 5,000, and that number doesn’t include over 300,000 federal criminal regulations. Enforcing them has led to an explosion of incarcerations: While the United States is home to only 4% of the world’s population, we are home to 25% of the world’s prison population. Today, an estimated one in three individuals has a criminal record. In fact, more people in this country have a criminal record than a college degree. What’s more, over 700,000 individuals are released from prison every year after they have completed their sentences and return home to their families and communities. Given the sheer numbers, the sad reality is that individuals with a criminal record aren’t hard to find: They are your neighbor, the parent of your children’s friends at school and the stranger in the back pew of your house of worship.

Recidivism rates are staggering, with more than 75% of those 700,000 are re-arrested, and likely returning to prison, within five years of their release. The light at the end of the tunnel is that for those who find a job within one year, the recidivism rate drops to just 7%. “We know that good, steady employment reduces the likelihood of an individual re-offending,” Thomas Dart, the sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago, has stated, “which is why we offer job training and job readiness programs to our detainees in order to help them end the cycle of incarceration.” When a job is further complemented by wraparound services that help with housing, mental health and substance abuse treatment, the odds of a successful reentry continue to improve.

The concrete ceiling

So far, so good, right? Especially in the context of the supply chain, which, at least until COVID-19, was experiencing 100% annual turnover in positions in industrial facilities, at ports and shipping locations and in the trucking industry. And, of course, supply chain was not alone in experiencing a shortage of willing and loyal associates. Yet, individuals with criminal records face barriers to resources that are essential to daily living, such as access to housing, education, health care and others. That lack of access creates the virtual concrete ceiling when it comes to finding a job that can seem as oppressive as the physical walls of a prison.

“For many people leaving prison, the majority of whom are poor people of color returning to socially isolated, under-resourced communities, re-entry is more accurately described as ‘a temporary position between freedom and re-commitment’ to state custody,” the researchers Alfred Blumstein and Allen J. Beck have written. It is a vicious cycle that wastes lives, drains state and federal budgets and creates an environment that makes our society less safe.

The lack of resources is exacerbated by states budgets that are overburdened by the rising costs of incarceration, often outspending public education budgets at a rate of nearly two to one. Annually, our country loses nearly $57 billion in gross domestic product these individuals could have contributed to the economy, to say nothing of the downstream effects of incarceration on the family unit. Children with an incarcerated parent are two-thirds more likely to become justice-involved at some point in their own lives, beginning—or continuing—a generational cycle of offenders. The system, as it currently exists, benefits no one. Simply put, the denial of the opportunity to work will result in a continuous cycle of release and re-incarceration that will drain our communities of resources and make our streets less safe.

This is where business can play an integral role.

 








Subscribe to Supply Chain Management Review Magazine!

Subscribe today. Don’t Miss Out!
Get in-depth coverage from industry experts with proven techniques for cutting supply chain costs and case studies in supply chain best practices.
Start Your Subscription Today!


Article Topics

COVID-19 &middot

Risk Management &middot
All Topics

Related posts

Coronavirus: Inside the supply chain crisis slowing Canadian labs

scceu

Gov. Ricketts, Nebraska Grocers Express Confidence in Supply Chain

scceu

Supply chain’s first responder – CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly

scceu
`