America puts more people in prison than any other country. And has the world’s most enormous recidivism problem. Of the 4.3 million Americans on parole or probation, 51% are recidivists–back in jail within three years of release.
Fueled by a “three strikes” law and record low parole release rate, Alabama has among the country’s highest imprisonment rates, at 938 per 100,000 citizens. Fertile ground for what former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb calls “programs which enable offenders NOT to reoffend.”
Released from state prison after five years, Scott Frye understood that recidivism-reduction requires creating new individual responsibility habits. And he also knew that building more private prisons at a taxpayer cost of $35,000 to $50,000 per bed was not the answer. When Frye and partner Steven Green founded Alliance Reentry Centers in 2019 in Bessemer, Alabama, their reentry formula was simple but hard to do–reduce recidivism with housing, jobs, counseling, and technology to enable round-the-clock accountability, all at no cost to taxpayers. The result? Since its founding, the Company has achieved an unmatched milestone: Recidivism rates are 60% lower than the national average, at zero cost to taxpayers.
The Company’s secret is getting reentrants good jobs and keeping them work-ready and responsible. “In today’s low-unemployment environment, local Alabama employers such as automaker Mercedes welcome our participants with open arms and hearts,” says founder Scott Frye. “Employers love our participants because we transport them to work on time and keep them accountable for their work schedule. Their earned wages cover the ReentryCenters $195 weekly program fee, with plenty left to fund a good life.”
After rebranding its residential program as ReentryCenters.com in 2021, raising several million dollars from investors, and acquiring the GPS-powered ReentryApp.co communications app and ReentryPay.com online bank in 2022, the Company’s residential program is growing fast in Alabama, with 12 facilities now online, and its technologies are available nationwide.
“We buy existing multifamily housing with ten to sixty beds in rural Alabama, upgrade the fixtures and security, and get them fully occupied within a couple months,” says co-founder Steve Green. “Our Eureka moment came in 2020 when we had over 100 participants complete six successful months. That’s when we knew we could scale this across Alabama, and nationwide.”
“Prison overcrowding cannot be solved with private prisons,” says ReentryCenters Chairman Jay Whitehead. “Today’s best answer is to support responsible release with reentry that includes affordable and safe housing, good jobs, online bank accounts, and mobile technologies to keep everyone connected and accountable. Reentry success is hard social service work. But it saves lives.”
The Reentry App is designed for the PO officers and case managers whereas Reentry Pay, the online bank is for reentrants to evade challenges. Scott Frye and Steve Green, founders of ReentryCenters.com, share a vast experience as jailhouse lawyer and investment banker respectively. ReentryCenters.com has raised $4M and approximately $1M from individual investors and VCs.