The coronavirus crisis and the movement for racial justice have magnified the challenges faced by people released from prison, whose criminal record makes it hard to find a job and even housing, especially women. We feature a new AJ+ series by Messiah Rhodes, whose mother was in and out of jail throughout his childhood and was able to break the cycle of incarceration. Rhodes says his work serves as a response to calls to defund police. “Instead of giving law enforcement agencies tanks and sci-fi-level weaponry, we should be funding … housing, education, family reunification, mental health support,” he says. We also speak with DeAnna Hoskins, president of JustLeadershipUSA, which will host Rebuilding the Table, an event on the official schedule of the Democratic National Convention that centers formerly incarcerated voices.
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