Commissary Club quiere ayudar a las personas anteriormente encarceladas a encontrar una comunidad - ProWellTech

Commissary Club wants to help formerly incarcerated people find community – ProWellTech

Commissary Club wants to help formerly incarcerated people find community - ProWellTech

The Y Combinator-backed 70 Million Jobs platform is launching a new social network designed to help previously detained people connect with each other. While 70 Million Jobs focuses on helping people with criminal records find work, the Commissary Club wants to serve as a place for people to find community.

“People with [criminal] The registries have always lived in the shadows, since the prisons were first built, “70 Million Jobs founder Richard Bronson told ProWellTech.” They have lived in fear and shame, fear of getting away with this terrible stigma, of being treated like second-class citizens in every way. “

Through the Commissary Club, people can find a community through theme clubs, explore education courses, and find mentors, jobs, and housing.

Image credits: Club Commissioner

The unemployment rate for previously incarcerated individuals, as of 2018, is 27%, according to the Prison Policy. However, due to the pandemic, that percentage is likely to be much higher.

But in addition to facing barriers to employment, previously incarcerated people face barriers to accessing stable housing and financial services. These types of barriers are a key factor in the recidivism of more than 600,000 people who are released from prison each year. Between 2005 and 2014, around 68% of those released in 2005 were re-arrested within three years. According to the Office of Justice Statistics of the United States Department of Justice, 83% of those released in 2005 were re-arrested within nine years.

Bronson said he believes the Commissary Club is in an ideal position to serve this community. Already, through 70 million jobs, there are millions of people the Commissary Club knows how to reach.

“This is a huge population, but nobody pays attention to them and if they do, it is negative,” Bronson said. “No political candidate has ever asked for your vote. The problem is that they never got together, they were never connected, and they could never come together with one voice. “

Bronson says he was encouraged by the Black Lives Matter movement and the Women’s March. It showed him, he said, the power of being connected and coming together with one voice.

“At some point we just say it’s enough,” said Bronson, who spent a couple of years in prison. “We have the right to everything. We ran out of time and we paid the price. Is it really okay for us to stick with life in prison? I think no one has really tried to push them forward and, being apart, they lack connections, they lack help, inspiration, and role models. And what they lack is friendship. When you get out of jail, you don’t know how to deal with these critical issues. We want to be that help. “

Bronson said it is not lost on him that he is privileged to be white, has a background in finance, and therefore certainly found it easier to move from prison to society. For one context, blacks make up 40% of the incarcerated population even though they make up only 13% of the US population, according to Prison Policy. Meanwhile, people in prisons and prisons are also disproportionately poor relative to the general population of the United States. However, he said it was more difficult than he expected.

“It has not escaped me that if it is so difficult for me, how it must be for the guys I was in prison with and who had little work experience and education,” he said.

The plan with the social network is to take an ad-based approach, along with referral fees for things like online classes and wellness services. Commissary Club also plans to partner with brands and host community events.

“The people we serve are in dire need of help,” Bronson said. “But we cannot deliver everything. We will be the town’s gatekeeper. “

But there is an obvious risk of rounding up previously incarcerated people and serving them on a plate for advertisers, as some are notoriously predatory.

“I feel incredibly protective of our clients because there are bad actors,” Bronson said. “We have seen people try to enter our business and gain access for their less than positive purposes. So we became smart and also sensitive that this could continue. We make sure that the people we work with do business with integrity and honesty. We have been in this space for a long time and we know good and bad lawyers, good educational platforms and bad ones, and many other verticals with good and bad actors. “

Commissary Club launched a few days ago in beta and currently has thousands on the waiting list. But service is slow because, Bronson said, “we want to get it right.”

To date, parent company 70 Million Jobs has raised $ 1.6 million from investors and is seeking an additional $ 2 million in financing.