March 2021 Newsletter
Issue #49
Life After Prison
  • Eventually 95% of all prisoners in the U.S. will be released back into society.

  • Each year 650,000 prisoners across the country join a population of about 19 million people who live with a felony record.

  • The federal government maintains 154 Residential Reentry Centers nationwide, and these facilities have a capacity of 9,778 residents.

  • The majority of halfway houses in the U.S. are run by private entities. For example, the for-profit GEO Group operates 30% of all halfway houses nationwide.  These facilities have a capacity for 50,000 individuals.

  • Typically the most time a reentering citizen can stay in a halfway house is 12 months.      
  • For people released from prison, there are:
  • Over 1,000 housing restrictions
  • Almost 4,000 civic-participation restrictions
  • Over 19,000 employment restrictions
  • Only 12.5% of employers say they will accept job applications from an ex-offender, because they think it’s bad for business. 

  • Some employers refuse employment simply for an arrest – regardless of whether the applicant was convicted of a crime.

  • In 2019 the unemployment rate for formerly incarcerated people was 27% compared to the national rate of 3.7%. 

  • People trying to reenter society are 10 times more likely to be homeless.
                                         The Prison Policy Initiative

  • States spend nearly 10 times on prisons as they do on probation and parole, yet state probation and parole populations are 3 times the size of state prison populations.

  • Eventually 43% of the people trying to reenter society are re-incarcerated.

  • It costs an average of $35,000 to house a prisoner per year.

  • The average stay for a prisoner in prison is 2.5 years

  • The US gross national product suffers a roughly $80 billion loss annually because of employment discrimination against ex-offenders.

For more on the Criminal Justice System,
Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration 
By Reuben Jonathan Miller. Reveals a simple, if overlooked truth: life after incarceration is its own form of prison. The idea that one can serve their debt and return to life as a full-fledge member of society is one of America’s most nefarious myths. Recently released individuals are faced with jobs that are off-limits, apartments that cannot be occupied and votes that cannot be cast. Informed by the author’s experience as the son and brother of incarcerated men, captures the stories of the men, women, and communities fighting against a system that is designed for them to fail. Shows that the American justice system was not created to rehabilitate and parole is structured to keep classes of Americans impoverished, unstable, and disenfranchised long after they’ve paid their debt to society. Reveals how laws, rules, and regulations extract a tangible cost not only from those working to rebuild their lives, but also our democracy. Read more.
For more on the Criminal Justice System,
Write a Prisoner
A resource for both those in prison and those who would like to reach out to a prisoner but are unable to visit. Provides the opportunity to exchange letters with incarcerated individuals and helps them find mentors, legal aid, educational opportunities, employment upon release, counseling, housing options etc. Profiles, photos, and contact information of inmates is provided as well as personal (interests, goals, etc.) and public (crime, release date, etc.) information. Inmates from county jails, state prisons, federal prisons, on death row, and in rehabilitation centers across the country have posted profiles -- including some outside the U.S. Viewers can then select which prisoner (male or female) they would like to correspond with.  Learn more.
For more on the Criminal Justice System,
How Restorative Justice
Could End Mass Incarceration 
A TED Talk featuring Dr. Shannon Sliva, Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. She points out that punishing offenders for their crimes is the primary goal of the current American criminal justice system and asks, what about the victims & affected communities – does punishing offenders help them heal? She argues for a shift towards restorative justice, a philosophy where "getting justice" means repairing harm. But for this movement to succeed in prisons & courtrooms, society must change its approach to conflict. Dr. Sliva is currently documenting the impacts of leading-edge restorative justice laws and developing recommendations for policy transfer. Watch now.
For more Justice resources, click here.
A New Story of Justice:
Nonviolence and Restorative Justice
A short animation that describes how restorative justice works and compares it to our legal system. Watch now.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Imprisoned While Innocent
An article in the March 2021 National Geographic magazine looks at stories of 17 men and women who were wrongly condemned to death in the U.S. since 1972. They are among the 182 others who were freed from death row after being found innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted. Some of the factors resulting in their wrongful convictions included police or procedural misconduct, witnesses who lied or were mistaken and poor legal representation. A disproportionate number of them were people of color and were from low income and low education backgrounds. Ultimately they were freed by DNA evidence, better lawyers or events that caused the truth to come out. Read more.
For more on Capital Punishment, click here.
Birth of a Movement:
Black Lives Matter and the Catholic Church 
By Olga Segura. Offers a Christ-like perspective of the Black Lives Matter movement through a radical call to dignity and equality for all people. Examines the founders of the movement and the church's involvement with slavery, including the more recent decision by Georgetown University to make amends for its past actions. Read more.
For more on Racism, click here.
Prey Tell: Why We Silence Women Who Tell the Truth and How Everyone Can Speak Up
By Tiffany Bluhm. Explores the complex dynamics of power and abuse. Tells stories of how women have overcome silence to expose the truth about their ministry and professional leaders--and the backlash they so often face. Sets out to understand the cultural and spiritual narratives that silence women and to illuminate the devastating emotional, financial, and social impact of silence in the face of injustice.
(Available March 16th)
For more on Domestic Abuse, click here.
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
Since 1988, this organization has been working to end the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls by advocating for strong laws and policies, raising public awareness and supporting survivor leadership globally. Learn more.
For more on Human Trafficking, click here.
The Story of Plastic
A resource from The Story of Stuff Project, the film reveals the truth behind plastic pollution and the false solution of plastic recycling. Presents a cohesive timeline of how we got to our current global plastic pollution crisis and how the oil and gas industry has successfully manipulated the narrative around it. From the extraction of fossil fuels and plastic disposal to the global resistance fighting back, the film depicts one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues of our time. Watch the trailer.
For more on the Environment, click here.
Islamophobia Guidebook
A resource from the Charter for Compassion International, this document offers a variety of resources—including contextual framing, guidance for Muslims, an overview of Islamophobia and links to other resources by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and others—many geared toward educators. Learn more.
For more on Religious Intolerance, click here.
The Long Shadow
This film follows former CNN Senior Producer, TED contributor, and Emmy-Award winning Director Frances Causey as she traces her family’s legacy of white privilege, placing it in the context of the history of anti-black racism in the United States that began with slavery and continues to impact our society today.
Seeks the hidden truth and the untold stories of how America—guided by the South’s powerful political influence—steadily, deliberately and at times secretly, established white privilege in our institutions, laws, culture and economy.
For more on Racism, click here.
Human Development Index
A resource from the United Nations Development Program that provides scores for countries on advancing human wellbeing. Looks at expanding the richness of human life, rather than simply the richness of the economy in which human beings live. It is an approach that is focused on people, their opportunities and their choices. It looks at a variety of measures such as health, education, income & composition of resources, inequality, gender, poverty, work & employment vulnerability, human security, trade & financial flows, mobility & communication, environmental sustainability, demography & social economic sustainability. Learn more.
For more on Economic Justice, click here.
Multifaith Calendar of Religious Holy Days
and Observances
A resource from the Jesuits; includes important dates from the Baha'i, Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Eastern Orthodox, Ethnic, Hindu, Islam, Jain, Jewish Persian & Sikh traditions throughout the year.
For more on Religious Tolerance, click here.
Center for FaithJustice
Since 2008 has worked to inspire the next generation of leaders by creating programs to serve those in need and educate for justice in the Catholic tradition. Envisions an innovative approach to faith formation that engages young people on both intensive reflection and an emphasis on catechesis as well as ministry to those in need. This vision has evolved into the Center’s signature “WorX” programs – ServiceworX, JusticeworX, and LeaderworX – for youth and young adults from middle school through college, along with a number of other boutique and academic year experiences. Learn more. 
For more Justice resources, click here.
Prayers for Racial Justice and Reconciliation
A resource from the Jesuits, that includes:
Finding True Racial Reconciliation, A Prayer for my White Colleagues in Education, To End Racism, Dismantling Racism in My Family of God & An Examine for Racial Justice
in printable prayer card formats.
For more Racism prayers, click here.
Important Dates This Month

Individuals Honored This Month
Exact Date of Death Unknown
No one has ever become poor by giving.
March 2nd
We who say we dwell in Christ, should walk just as he walked.
March 3rd
I believe much trouble would be saved
if we opened our hearts more.
March 5th
The number one cause of atheism is Christians. Those who proclaim Him with their mouths and deny Him with their actions is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable.
March 13th
Many powerful people don’t want peace because they live off of war.
March 14th
The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything.
March 24th
A church that doesn’t provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn’t unsettle, a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin, a word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed – what gospel is that?
March 31st
History will judge societies and governments and their institutions not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and powerful but how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.
Visit Our Website
Since we launched our website in 2017, we've had over 150,000 visitors, from 123 countries.            
There are 25 Issues,
with over 2,000 Resources including:
Films, Publications, Websites,
Facts & Figures, Prayers, Quotes,

Our Newsletter
Every month we email our newsletter to over  4,000  people around the country. Each issue focuses on a social justice topic and has resources that have been recently added to our website. If you know of anyone who might be interested in receiving our newsletter, please forward this email on to them or let us know and we'll add them to our mailing list. For our previous Newsletters,
Contact Us