Help Previously Incarcerated Young Men Discover the Three E's That Reduce Recidivism
The future is bleak for young men with a criminal record. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with nearly 7 million people under the supervision of the correctional system. That’s 1 in 36 adults.
Sadly, having only one stint in prison is rare — the chances of returning to prison after being released are shockingly high. For example, in 2005, nearly 68 percent of the over 400,000 prisoners released in 30 states were rearrested. After five years, nearly 77 percent were rearrested.
It's a devastating cycle. Getting out of prison is only half the battle, staying out is just as difficult if not more insurmountable. Without proper guidance, resources, and support, most will find themselves in and out of prison their entire lives, and begin to view death as their only and final source of freedom.
Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO) has its mission built into its name. Based in NYC, GOSO helps previously incarcerated young men achieve a renewed sense of self-confidence and hope, marketable skills, and opportunities to be successful. GOSO is hyper-focused on what they call the three E's: Education, Employment, and Emotional well-being. The team accomplishes this through relationship-based programming that provides mentorship, job readiness training, education, and GOSOWorks—a paid 3-month internship-to-employment program. The organization's staff of licensed social workers believe that young men, given the resources and influences necessary to succeed, could get out and stay out of prison. And the results have proven that GOSO has found a methodology that does just that.
Remarkably, 86 percent of GOSO participants stay out of prison or jail, compared to the 77 percent national recidivism rate (at five years). Three out of four participants in GOSO graduate from the job readiness program and the same number of individuals are hired, adding up to 220 job placements per year. Whereas 68 percent of previously incarcerated men ages 18-24 recidivate every year, less than 15 percent of the same age group that graduate from GOSO return to prison. Instead, they're educated, employed, and emotionally well.