This Basic Income Pilot Might Slow Recidivism In Its Tracks

stack of one hundred dollar bills
Zain Murdock
December 20, 2021

Formerly incarcerated people in Florida are randomly getting golden tickets in the mail. The letters claim they’ll receive $1,000 in January 2022, then $600 a month for the year – and it’s NOT a scam! But why?

Incarcerated people in the U.S., already up against a 77% recidivism rate and 27% unemployment rate, also have to pay for things like probation fees, ankle monitors, and mandatory classes out of their own pockets – all while often facing job discrimination.

Their tickets give them access to a basic-income pilot program that hopes to give these members of our community a fair, fresh start! But this isn’t really a new idea.

Countries around the world have been experimenting with basic income for decades . and the data show positive results such as boosted mental health,  higher employment rates, decreasing poverty-induced crime, and better access to food! But there’s another benefit for all of us.

We could give formerly incarcerated people TWICE that amount and it would still cost LESS than it costs to incarcerate them! Imagine how many families affected by incarceration could use that money. So what are we waiting for?

One day, all incarcerated people will be free. But for right now, programs like these can help break the cycle of poverty and incarceration. For incarcerated Black people abused by the “justice” system, this would be bare-minimum reparations!

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