December 8, 2020
Congratulations to member 70 Million Staffing and founder Richard Bronson on the recent launch of Commissary Club, a new social network created to help people with criminal records connect with others to build community and rebuild their lives.
The name is inspired by prison commissaries, which serve as a central point for commerce and socializing among inmates.
The Commissary Club aims to reduce returning citizens’ isolation and support them with practical help, inspiration and friendship to better navigate their reentry. Platform users can share comments and video content, while also accessing information and “concierge-level” assistance with employment, housing, training, health care, legal services, and more. The site also features a variety of creative "influencers." Meanwhile, 70 Million Jobs plans to continue its staffing operations.
Each year, U.S. prisons and jails release some 2.5 million people who face multiple barriers to making a fresh start, including significant obstacles to employment and housing. A 2018 analysis by the Prison Policy Initiative found 27% of formerly incarcerated people were unemployed, a rate that has very likely increased during the pandemic.
Bronson has firsthand experience with the challenges of reentry. "Anyone who's done time knows that when you get out, it's incredibly hard to land a job, find housing and take care of your family. We aim to provide all the necessary resources in one place."