Each year, Washington state releases over 8,200 individuals from incarceration. 30-50% will be re-admitted within 3 years. These individuals face significant barriers to employment, housing, education, and reconnecting to their communities.

According to the Count US In Report, 50% of the outdoor homeless population in Seattle has criminal justice involvement, which is likely an underestimate. The King County Jail population is racially disproportionate: black individuals only comprise of 7% of overall King County population, but account for 36% of the King County Jail population. Native Americans only comprise of 1% of the King County population, but account for 2.5% of the King County Jail population. Finally, the Native American population in prisons and jails is growing increasingly disproportionate to their presence in the general population. Native Americans are incarcerated at a rate 38% higher than the national average rate of incarceration. In Seattle, Native Americans/Alaska Natives are seven times more likely to experience homelessness, more than any other racial group.

  • In Washington, 58% of the jail population have mental health treatment needs
  • In Washington, 61% of those in jail have substance use needs
  • Nationally, 40% of individuals of those in jail have a disability
  • Once released from incarceration individuals face significant barriers to reentry. Data shows approximately 30-50% of individuals released from incarceration will recidivate within three years without appropriate supports.

How can we better assist formerly incarcerated individuals to successfully re-enter society by increasing opportunities and reducing barriers to employment?