Finding Employment After Prison: Background information when reading Sugar Run

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Sugar Run

by Mesha Maren

Sugar Run by Mesha Maren X
Sugar Run by Mesha Maren
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2019, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 8, 2019, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Butts
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About this Book

Finding Employment After Prison

This article relates to Sugar Run

Work after PrisonIn Sugar Run, the principal protagonist Jodi McCarty has just been released from prison after serving a nearly 20-year term. She finds life as a free woman more difficult than she imagined, largely due to her inability to find gainful employment. This is a common issue with newly released inmates, and one of the leading causes of recidivism.

According to a 2018 study conducted by the Brookings Institute, only 55% of former inmates report any earned income the first year after their release. Among those who do find work, the median income is just $10,090. Only 20% of working inmates reported earning over $15,000. (The federal poverty line in the United States in 2019 is $12,490 for a single person household.)

A 2018 report by the Prison Policy Initiative states that among the 5 million formerly incarcerated Americans 27% are unemployed. This is five times higher than the rate of unemployment among the general population of the U.S. They further note that, among this group, women ...

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