There is one fact about the Trump Criminal Justice reform business that needs to be pointed out.
Before I continue let me point out that the points that follow only apply to folks who are not incorrigible. If a person decides he prefers the financial, social or self esteem rewards that come with a criminal life and is willing to take the risks involved in same, no amount of reform is going to make a difference. The argument below only applies to people whose goal is to leave criminal life and get a 2nd chance to be a law abiding citizen.
The best way to get a 2nd chance if you are an ex-con is to have a shot at a job, because if you can support yourself and your family you are less likely to fall back on the underground illegal economy to provide either the necessities or the extra comforts that a person would like to occasionally have.
Now during times when there are more people seeking work than jobs available, an employer can pick and choose. In such an economy, such as the one during the Obama years a business owner is likely going to eliminate a person with a record from consideration, which is completely reasonable and rational decision. After all Why would you risk hiring a person with a criminal record in your employ when there are a dozen other people without such a record vying for the same job? Even worse is the fact that people looking for work in such a situation will take a job below their normal skill level. When this is the case the ex-con has little or no chance to find legal work is much more likely to fall into old illegal habits simply for the sake of survival.
And while this was the norm in the Obama Economy the Trump economy is a different animal.
There are millions more jobs then there are job seekers. Not only are skilled workers no longer settling for unskilled job but even unskilled workers are getting the chance to go far. Given this situation there is never a better chance that a hiring manager, desperate to fill positions will decide to overlook qualities that might have once been disqualifying.
What does that mean for sentencing reform, it means that instead of releasing an ex-con into an environment where he or she is bound to fail and likely to re-offend said ex-con is released into an environment where he or she is most likely to succeed in finding gainful employment and have a chance to prove their value as a productive law abiding citizen.
Even better the paucity of people available to work causes upward pressure on wages make it more likely that said employment will provide enough to make more profitable but risky criminal behavior less of an attraction.
That’s what the Trump boom means. More ex-cons more likely able to find work at wages high enough to discourage the choice of an illegal alternative.
It is the best prison reform program in the world and brings a whole new meaning to the hashtag #jobsnotmobs