After Delaisia Hasbrouck-Luckerson served 15 months in prison on a drug rap, she was thrilled to secure early release.
But her relief turned to desperation as she found it difficult to find work with her criminal record.
Making a legal living was more important than ever: Besides being a condition of her release, Hasbrouck-Luckerson needed to care for the daughter she gave birth to behind bars.
The number of women incarcerated in the U.S. skyrocketed from 26,000 in 1980 to 215,000 in 2014. And more women serving prison time means more women struggling to rebuild their lives afterward.
Advocates for the formerly incarcerated say that people with criminal histories face discrimination in finding work, sparking the “Ban the Box” movement, which aims to remove questions about criminal histories from job applications. Last year, New York City passed the Fair Chance Act, which prevents employers from asking about criminal histories on job applications. It’s a law that former inmates and their advocates call a success.