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Basic-income experiment will give hundreds of formerly incarcerated individuals $600 per month for a year

Community Spring, a nonprofit in Alachua County, Florida, has sent hundreds of people formerly incarcerated in the county invitations to apply for a basic income pilot program. 

115 applicants will be chosen to participate in the program. It will be funded by Spring Point Partners, a social impact organization, and Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, which is a group of mayors that are pushing for basic income in their cities. Mayors for a Guaranteed Income have created their own similar programs, which people like Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have contributed to.

After release from prison, former inmates often face various fees, along with widespread hesitancy among employers. A Harvard study found that around 77% of people released from prison will be arrested again within the next five years.

Those who have been arrested are 10 times more likely to become homeless. And the formerly incarcerated face a 27% unemployment rate, which is reportedly higher than the national unemployment rate during the Great Depression.

Former inmates generally must pay probation fees, often $10-$150 each month. They are usually responsible for other requirements, like ankle monitors, court-ordered drug testing, and mandatory classes. But if they don’t pay these fees, they could face another arrest or incarceration. “We see people all the time get reincarcerated just for money,” program manager Kevin Scott said. “That is straight up criminalizing poverty. The crime is you’re too poor to be free.”

ARTICLE: RITA VOGT

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: WUFT.ORG

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