The Incarceration Cycle

The Problem

As many as 100 million Americans have criminal records.

That’s a lot of potential talent.

Each year, Washington state releases over 8,200 individuals from incarceration. 30-50% will be re-admitted within 3 years. Prison is a cycle, as these individuals face significant barriers to employment, housing, and reconnecting to their communities. Education and living wage employment are key to breaking the cycle.

This website aims to amplify the work that others are doing in our community, and serve as a resource to help others get involved.

of overall jail population in washington state

58 %
need mental health treatments
61 %
have substance use needs
40 %
have a disability
Break the cycle with employment & education


Without employment opportunities, those with criminal backgrounds often resort to the only life they know — a life of crime. We started this website to gather resources on companies that have been successful in providing second chance opportunities, with the intent of raising awareness and sharing best practices for other companies that are considering second chance hiring.

Organizations such as Post Prison Education Program are vital to helping these individuals successfully become contributing members of society. Here are some stories from graduates of the program:

Prison to Supporting People Experiencing Homelessness
Gina was released from prison on November 20th, 2011 with no idea of what she was going to do and
Read more.
Education to Break the Cycle
In 2015, Adrian was about to be released into a void with no support and no home. When a fellow
Read more.
Prison to Mentoring Incarcerated Youths
I met Ari Kohn and the Post-Prison Education Program in 2007 when I was locked up on my 5th prison
Read more.
Prison to Prison Scholar Fund
Dirk Van Velzen Founder and Executive Director, Prison Scholar Fund (2006-current) Seattle, WA Dirk is passionate about prisoner education. While
Read more.
Prison to Electrical Engineering
Chris was in prison twice, once for 13 months and the other time for 38 months. Between 1997 and 2005,
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Ben (BK) Ammenwerth – “I can’t ever express my level of gratitude for all you guys do to change lives.
Read more.


Who our friends are