Scott McIlvaine firmly believes that everyone deserves a second chance. Especially those who have been incarcerated.
Given the difficulties that ex-offenders typically face when re-entering society, McIlvaine has a plan to make this transition easier and more productive for everyone. He is developing a national directory of employers that are willing to hire ex-offenders.
“The recidivism rate for ex-offenders is extremely high,” explained McIlvaine. “About two-thirds of those incarcerated will end up back in prison within three years. When the ex-offender is employed, however, that number drops to 6 percent.”
Thus the benefit to these individuals — and the general public — is substantial. If we can significantly reduce the number of individuals going back to prison, the financial advantages are staggering.
It costs the American taxpayer $46,000 per year to incarcerate one individual. That adds up to a savings of more than $150 billion, about $1,100 per taxpayer each year.
“There are more than 7 million individuals in the US who suffer from a very specific type of prejudice and persecution,” said McIlvaine. “They can't get a job because of mistakes they've made in their lives that have led to a criminal record. Once they've paid their debt to society, all these individuals want is to have a second chance, to â€˜go straight’ and become productive citizens.”
It’s going to take time, labor and money to build the directory. McIlvaine estimates he’ll need $14,675. In order to generate this capital, he has launched an Indiegogo campaign, which can be viewed at www.indiegogo.com/projects/2nd-chances-employment-directory-for-the-formerly-incarcerated--3
Donations of any amount are welcome. For larger donations, perks are available, such as access to the directory and job postings. Ex-offenders and others who support this project are encouraged to contribute.
“We’re going to reach out to every employer in the US that employs more than 50 people,” McIlvaine said. “We’ll be providing the employers with information on how they can obtain tax benefits from hiring ex-offenders in their state.
“The total number of employers on our prospect list is nearly 60,000. If just 5 percent sign up for their free directory listing, that will be 3,000 employers in the database.”
For additional information, visit www.2ndchances.info
McIlvaine can be reached directly at [email protected]
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