Although many people would think that inmates leave behind the most difficult time in their lives when they get out of jail, the reality is that the challenges that arise after they are freed are possibly much harder to overcome than their incarceration itself.
And statistics from Rikers Island confirm exactly that: Approximately 60 percent of inmates return to prison, overwhelmed by a lack of direction and goals in their lives and, most importantly, the uphill battle to find a job that gives them a chance to earn an honest living.
NPR reports that a nonprofit in Harlem, N.Y., "Getting Out and Staying Out" was founded by retired cosmetics executive Mark Goldsmith and has assisted more than 1,500 young men. The nonprofit helps them prepare for job interviews, find a place to live and, in some cases, help them pay for college or vocational school. Only 20 percent of those who go through the program return to prison.
"I like to explain to them what a return on investment is," said Goldsmith. "And we tell them about the fact that we're going to invest in them as we would invest in a business.
"So you're a business, an individual -- but you're a business. What do I want back? I want you to get educated. I want you to learn a trade. And I want you to be successful. If you're successful, I have gotten my return on my investment."