According to a Fact Sheet issued by the White House in April of 2016, an estimated 70 million or more Americans have some kind of criminal record. Each year, more than 600,000 individuals are released from Federal and State prisons, and millions more are released each year from local jails. Promoting the rehabilitation and reintegration of these individuals who have paid their debt to society makes communities safer by reducing recidivism and victimization; assists those who return from prison, jail, or juvenile justice facilities to become productive citizens; and saves taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Institute of Justice, finds there are high rates of recidivism among released prisoners. One study tracked 404,638 prisoners in 30 states after their release from prison in 2005. The researchers found that:
- Within three years of release, about two-thirds (67.8 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested.
- Within five years of release, about three-quarters (76.6 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested.
- Of those prisoners who were rearrested, more than half (56.7 percent) were arrested by the end of the first year.
beeBetter strives to reduce barriers for ex-offenders within their first year of being released to help prevent their return to crime and incarceration.