Life on the outside

A departure from get-tough-on-crime
Melvin Bailey spent five years in prison for selling drugs. After he got out of prison, he did what most ex-offenders do: he returned to his neighborhood and looked for work. But there weren’t many jobs on Chicago’s West Side, and even fewer open to former prisoners. Eventually he found work, but he didn’t forget how difficult his journey had been and how difficult it was for other ex-offenders. He started a program to train and hire ex-prisoners as construction workers, building affordable housing.


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