Both Alaska and Amazon are vying to hire some of the 2,200 inmates released next week under the president’s Criminal Reform Law. This is great news for the president because former inmates who get jobs are much less likely to become repeat offenders – especially Amazon employees who make a minimum of $15 an hour with generous benefits. One of the complaints about the new law was over the safety issue and repeat offenders. Alaska needs employees to work in the fishing industry, both as fishermen and in processing plants. With the vast amount of people finding jobs in Trump’s economy, 2,200 is a relatively small number, and won’t adversely affect the job market.
President Trump’s criminal justice reform law will release some 2,200 federal inmates next week, and reform supporters are finding broad interest among employers, including Alaska’s seafood industry and retail giant Amazon.
An effort to line up employment, guided by evidence it reduces recidivism, features job fairs and prison advertising ahead of a mass release July 19. Inmates gaining jobs could help provide political cover for Trump after some Republican senators and law enforcement groups said reforms would endanger public safety.
A leading work option is emerging in Alaska, where thousands of people may be hooked up with seasonal work thanks to a chance White House meeting between Alaska labor commissioner Tamika Ledbetter and ex-inmate turned activist Angela Stanton.
Ledbetter, an African American Republican, and Stanton, a reality TV star and founder of the American King Foundation, met at an April “opportunity zones” event and found their needs matched. Alaska’s seafood industry had 4,000 job vacancies, and 4,000 inmates were expected to be released under an expansion of “good time” credit in the First Step Act. Ledbetter referred Stanton to Copper River Seafoods, which has four far-flung locations and many openings.
“It helps reduce recidivism — I’m a returning citizen myself [and] if you don’t have a job, you’re going to go into survival mode,” Stanton told the Washington Examiner. With a job in Alaska, people “don’t have to worry about going back to old ways with old friends.”