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‘You just want to… have a chance’: Ex-offenders struggle to find jobs amid COVID-19
“Because of COVID-19… everybody is having a harder time, and that would be exacerbated for people who are being released from prison,” says Kristen Broady, policy director for the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, which focuses on economic policy.
Low-wage positions, a lifeline for those with limited prospects, are in high demand and short supply. Restaurants and other industries that offer lower-paying jobs have struggled amid shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. And with a national unemployment rate of 6.7%, employers who have their pick of applicants may be less inclined to hire someone with a record, Broady and others say.