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Zócalo Public Square and The James Irvine Foundation
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“What Is a Good Job Now?” For the Formerly Incarcerated


It’s been over 50 years since the era of mass incarceration started in the United States. Over the past decade, and especially in the pandemic, California has made major changes in its criminal justice system to reduce its prison population and sentences. But it has been slower to develop and invest in new systems to support Californians as they transition out of jail or prison into workplaces. What are the best ideas and models for finding good jobs for the formerly incarcerated? How can we improve the low pay and challenging working conditions in those industries that are most likely to employ people who have been in the system? And what policies and economic changes would open more possible career paths and economic opportunities for this population?

Amity Foundation president and CEO Doug Bond, Root & Rebound executive director Carmen Garcia, and Anti-Recidivism Coalition executive director Sam Lewis visit Zócalo to discuss how to build better career pathways for formerly incarcerated people.

Zócalo invites the in-person audience to continue the conversation with our speakers and each other at a post-event reception with complimentary drinks and small bites.

Live simultaneous ASL and Spanish translation of the discussion will be provided.

Artwork by Ernesto Yerena.