Date of Award
Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Individuals in Georgia with criminal records have many barriers and collateral consequences which impact their ability to find employment upon release from prison. Collateral consequences are those repercussions which impact the ex-offender’s civil liberties after they are released from prison. Research has shown that ex-offenders who do not find gainful employment upon release from prison are more likely to return to prison than those who find gainful employment after they are released.
The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the current state and federal programs along with nonprofit organizations and discuss how they affect Georgians with criminal records. The goal is to review the intergovernmental relations existing in the current programs in hopes of exploiting the best practices being used. An example is the grant funding being distributed by the federal government via the Second Chance Act of 2007 which has disseminated millions of grant dollars to state governments and nonprofit organizations for the implementation of reentry programs and services to assist ex-offenders in transitioning into the society.
The alternative of not supporting efforts to better prepare ex-offenders for life after prison and allowing collateral consequences to go unchecked could cost Georgia taxpayers millions of dollars a year. The most realistic result could be a higher recidivism rate as well as costs of services needed for the victims who may suffer from the crimes committed by the repeat offenders. The paper concludes that public administrators play an important role and should both educate the portion of their community who have criminal records as well as inform employers of the incentives available for those who hire these ex-offenders.