The United States has the world’s highest incarceration rate, with more than 2.2 million people in prison. And within the United States, the highest incarceration rate belongs to Washington, D.C. There, a new worker-owned business cooperative hopes to reverse those numbers, offering former prisoners opportunities for employment and healing.
Though co-ops that employ formerly incarcerated people already exist, Tightshift Laboring Cooperative is the first Washington, D.C., co-op formed and operated by ex-prisoners. The co-op offers an array of manual labor services, including residential and commercial cleaning, hauling and moving, and landscaping. It also uses eco-friendly products to provide customers with affordable, high-quality cleaning services.
It’s more than just a business to Juan Reid, a former inmate who co-spearheaded the cooperative. For him, Tightshift is about helping former inmates recover, find work, and counter prisoner stigmatization in the workplace.
Source : Yes Magazine