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Opinion

Readers React: How employing former felons can rescue the Social Security system

FILE - This Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 file photo, shows the Social Security Administration’s main campus
The Social Security Administration’s main campus in Woodlawn, Md., in 2013.
(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

To the editor: Perhaps Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) might also look to another group of people in addition to immigrants to rescue the Social Security system — the 600,000 persons per year who leave American prisons and jails. (“Fox News freaks out over Kirsten Gillibrand’s comments on immigrants and Social Security — but she’s right,” column, March 22)

Most return to the towns where they lived before incarceration and want to resume their lives, earn a living and, yes, pay into Social Security.

One in 3 American adults has a criminal record. While there have been legislative efforts nationally and in California to help former felons procure employment, persons with a record continue to face barriers to getting a job.

Let’s look at the relationship between newly employed, previously incarcerated persons and the rescuing of Social Security. Bottom line is that changing not only laws but hiring attitudes so these people can be employed “is not only good for the Social Security program, but essential for its fiscal health.”

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Carole Urie, Newport Beach

The writer is chief financial officer and founder of the Returning Home Foundation.

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