In recent years, the state of the American prison system has been a hot button issue. There are over two million people currently incarcerated in the United States, and a majority of those individuals will eventually be released back into society. Unfortunately, the majority of these individuals face significant barriers when it comes to finding employment and becoming productive members of society. That’s where the innovative leadership of CEOs like Alisa Malone comes into play.
Alisa Malone is the CEO of Persevere, a national nonprofit organization that is focused on fixing the prison system by providing quality job resources, training, and tools for inmates to become productive members of society post-release. Her organization is just one of the many groups working tirelessly to provide opportunities for incarcerated individuals to gain valuable work experience and skills, with the ultimate goal of re-entering the workforce as contributing members of society.
Persevere’s mission is to disrupt the cycle of poverty and incarceration through technology education, life skills development, employment, and wraparound services.
Persevere is committed to providing justice-impacted individuals with access to resources, education, and career opportunities that lead to financial security. The goal is to empower people to change their lives, their families, and their communities.
The organization has developed a comprehensive program that seeks to provide meaningful and effective job training for successful reentry and reintegration to society through education, vocational training, rehabilitation, and substance abuse treatment services. The training takes place within the walls of the prison and in the community, and is designed to provide practical and hands-on experience in a variety of industries. Inmates are able to learn computer coding that lead to six levels of certification, including Front End and Full Stack Developer certifications, giving them a competitive edge when it comes to finding employment upon release.
But job training is just the beginning. Alisa says, “We offer reentry services to our program participants including; a career readiness curriculum, life skills, financial literacy, case management both during the program and for a year post-release. Post-release, we also assist with transitional housing, job placement, and mentorship.”
But perhaps the most important element of the organization’s work is the focus on providing support for individuals post-release. The organization has created a network of businesses and employers who are willing to hire individuals who have served time in prison. By providing a seamless transition for these individuals, the organization is helping ensure that they have the best possible chance of success in the workforce.
The benefits of these programs are clear. By empowering inmates with the tools they need to become productive members of society upon release, it can reduce the likelihood that they will reoffend and end up back in prison.