As part of efforts to help ex-offenders successfully re-enter society, Arizona is partnering with Uber on an “Uber for Jobs” pilot program. The initiative, which will be funded through a $5,000 donation from Uber and equal match from the state, is designed to offer former inmates rides to verified employment events such as a job interview or first day of work.
Lack of transportation has been identified as a significant hurdle for many individuals looking to re-enter society in Arizona. According to a survey of over 400 inmates at the Arizona State Prison in Florence conducted by researchers at ASU, over half identified a lack of reliable transportation as a barrier to successful re-entry.
“Without the proper support networks in place, finding a job and being able to keep it become that much harder,” said Governor Ducey. “We are committed to providing real second chance opportunities to those who have paid their debt to society. This program will address a critical shortfall for many former inmates—lack of reliable transportation—and help keep them from believing the only option is returning to crime. We are excited and grateful to be partnering with Uber on this worthwhile initiative and look forward to working together to maximize its potential.”
The Uber for Jobs program will begin as a pilot program offering rides to recently-released inmates in Maricopa County who have graduated from an Arizona Department of Corrections Employment Center. Trained correctional officers will oversee rides offered using the Uber for Business platform.
The partnership with Uber adds to efforts currently underway by the state to help inmates successfully re-enter society and avoid returning to prison, such as Governor Ducey’s “Second Chance Box” Executive Order signed yesterday. Under the new policy, state agencies will delay questions related to an applicant’s criminal record until after the initial stages of interviewing, ensuring all individuals receive full and fair consideration for job openings.