When individuals are released from incarceration, they often face a variety of challenges in
their efforts to reenter society. One significant obstacle that returning citizens face is the lack of financial literacy. Without the proper financial skills and knowledge, these individuals are at risk of falling into debt, poverty, and other financial hardships. In this blog post, we will explore the need for financial literacy for returning citizens.
Financial literacy refers to the ability to understand and manage personal finances effectively. This includes understanding financial concepts such as budgeting, saving, investing, and credit management. For returning citizens, financial literacy is critical to their successful reentry into society. Here are a few reasons why:
Helps to Manage Finances
One of the biggest challenges for returning citizens is managing their finances. Many individuals may have debts or financial obligations that they need to fulfill, such as court fees or restitution payments. Additionally, finding employment and stable housing can be challenging, leading to financial instability. With financial literacy, returning citizens can learn how to budget their money effectively, prioritize expenses, and avoid unnecessary expenses.
Provides Confidence and Independence
Returning citizens who have financial literacy skills feel more confident and independent. They are better equipped to make informed financial decisions, negotiate with creditors, and manage their money effectively. This confidence can help them to take control of their finances and avoid falling into debt or financial hardship.
Creates Opportunities for Advancement
Financial literacy can create opportunities for advancement in both personal and professional settings. For example, individuals with strong financial literacy skills may be better equipped to secure stable housing, obtain loans or credit, and start their own businesses. Additionally, having financial literacy skills can help individuals to qualify for better-paying jobs or promotions.
Reduces Recidivism Rates
Research has shown that individuals with strong financial literacy skills are less likely to return to prison. This is because they are better equipped to manage their finances, avoid financial hardship, and secure stable employment and housing. By reducing recidivism rates, financial literacy can help to create safer communities and improve the overall well-being of returning citizens.
In conclusion, financial literacy is crucial for the successful reentry of returning citizens. It
provides individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to manage their finances, feel
confident and independent, create opportunities for advancement, and reduce recidivism rates.
As such, efforts should be made to ensure that financial literacy programs are accessible and available to returning citizens as they transition back into society.
Kevin PaulinExecutive Director- Winning Ways, Inc. Copyright 2023