Kansas City, MO – One in every hundred people in the United States today is behind bars. And being in prison is a strong indicator that once you're released, you'll be back again. A study in the 1990s showed that two thirds of ex-offenders returned to prison within three years. Now, both Kansas and Missouri have recently developed some innovative programs to combat recidivism. Kansas is reducing sentences and establishing a number of alternatives to incarceration. Missouri's prisoner re-entry program has become a national model.
But one of the biggest factors in a person's success when they get out of prison is whether they can get, and keep, a decent job. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross recently visited some businesses in the Kansas City area that make a point of hiring ex-offenders.