Criminal justice disproportionally affects the Millennial Generation. There are over 2 million people in prison, and a large portion of them are young people. Millennials make up nearly 40 percent of all federal prison inmates, and well over 50 percent of all inmates in state prisons are in their early 20s and 30s.
A criminal record often destroys any chance for meaningful success once young people return to society. Many employers will not hire people who cannot pass a background check – even if they were charged with a nonviolent offense. This often leads to a “revolving door” where many young people turn back to a life of crime.
Over-criminalization has led to a skyrocketing incarceration rate which has significant societal and economic consequences. At Generation Opportunity Institute, we want to help those who have served time reintegrate into the community and become contributing members of society. We want to equip them to acquire meaningful employment, support their family, and have a positive impact on those around them – not return to prison because turning back to crime seemed to be the only viable option.
The Story of Weldon Angelos
This is the story of Weldon Angelos, a young man who was sentenced to an unbelievable 55 years in prison for a youthful indiscretion due to federal mandatory sentencing laws. Weldon is just one of thousands of non-violent offenders serving out unfair sentences – often without the chance for parole.