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Problem Solving Must-Reads: Reducing Recidivism with Prison Cosmetology

Plus: A series of tubes for cars, and the future of affordable smart homes for seniors

Problem Solving Must-Reads: Reducing Recidivism with Prison Cosmetology

Plus: A series of tubes for cars, and the future of affordable smart homes for seniors

About 700,000 people are released from prison every year. However, over half will likely re-offend and enter back into the prison system within the first 36 months. One reason for this trend is a lack of job opportunities for ex-offenders. Without access to jobs, and with many employers discriminating against those with criminal records, economic opportunities can be limited. That leads many back into crime.

To combat the revolving door of recidivism, many prisons offer job training programs to their inmates. As it turns out, prison education programs contribute to a 43 percent reduced chance of recidivism.  Moreover, for every dollar spent on these programs, tax payers’ costs are cut for future incarcerations. But these training programs are typically limited to a few areas, leaving those who aren’t cut out for that type of work out in the cold.

Some prisons, like Valley State Prison in California, are opening up programs that would normally seem out of place in men’s prisons—beauty schools. Their program consists of a rigorous six hours a day, five days a week class to earn a beautician’s license. The graduates of the program receive the same degree as cosmetology students outside of prisons. One repeat offender says, “out there cutting hair, nobody asks what your record is as long as you have a good rapport, good communication skills, and good people skills.”

Read the Full Story Here (via Reader Magazine)

Here’s what else we’re reading:

Urban Cartube System Hopes to Relieve Traffic Congestion

Photo: AutoCar UK

PLP Architecture has a futuristic solution to the problem of transporting large amounts of people in condensed environments by bypassing intersections and traffic lights. Their underground Cartube would transport people in private, driverless electric cars traveling in platoons at 40 mph on set routes underneath an urban landscape. Besides cutting down on traffic, the Cartube, would reduce CO2 emissions and transport about twice as many people as other projects, like London’s Crossrail, can transport.  (via AutoCar UK)

The Future of Affordable Smart Home for Senior Citizens

Photo: Next City

The University of Calgary’s Schools of Environmental Design, Medicine and Public Health have collaborated on designing the house of the future for senior citizens. The project is aiming to create a replicable 460 square-foot fully-furnished home for those who need support, are sick, or are frail.  The homes feature customizable options like weight scales built into the floors and smart screens that project daily medical reminders. The homes can also be reused and transport to new renters. They would cost a fraction of the price of acute care facilities and costs for expensive medical equipment would be distributed over a large community through the leasing model. (via Next City)

Photo header: Reader Magazine

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