Stable employment is critical to a successful transition to the community and reintegration into society. The link between unemployment and crime is well established and it has been proven that incarcerated indivduals reentering the community are less likely to reoffend if they can overcome employment barriers. Research by Sampson and Laub (1993, 2003) emphasize the importance of social bonds in an individual's refrain from criminal activity. They explain the effect of employment on recidivism as a result of developing bonds to conventional norms that lead to attachment and commitment to conventional society, and lead individuals to desist from criminal activity.
In an effort to improve public safety, the Department of Corrections provides incarcerated individuals with programs that reduce the likelihood they will commit new crimes post release. About 97% of Washington's incarcerated population will complete their sentences and release to the community, and without successful efforts to resolve their individual deficits, many will return to lives of crime.