Today, PICO National Network’s Live Free Campaign and All of Us or None, were joined by eleven formerly incarcerated citizens to meet with White House officials and discuss policy recommendations for returning citizens. They requested full rights restoration for individuals who have completed their sentences and returned to society. Their requests included restoring the right to vote and implementing policies and practices that prohibit discrimination in the housing and job markets.

In addition, the team highlighted the need for a broader conversation beyond formerly incarcerated people and asked that the Department of Justice do extensive and comprehensive investigations into the systemic abuses by police department and make specific recommendations for police trainings and community engagement strategies.

Currently, a considerable number of returning citizens experience homelessness, largely due to discriminatory housing practices. Many struggle with the job application process, especially if they are required to “check the box” indicating they were once incarcerated. The most integral is loosing one’s right to vote, leaving returning citizens feeling invisible to the democratic process.