You brought up a valid point I wanted to validate. That about employer's "not able to hire them with a record". Well yes and no. I say that because there is a list of employer's who will openly hire not only criminals, but also felons. What we did in our work was get them these lower jobs at these companies who list among them companies such as Walmart, Target, Olive Garden, etc. The women by themselves wouldn't be open with them about their record, but we would encourage them. We would emphasize this was just a year out of their lives we needed them to take these types of jobs. While in them, we'd also encourage them to get enrolled in school. Those companies also help their employees with school.
At the end of about a year, we would then go to the courts with their employment record, housing record, a letter from a local pastor, minister, rabbi or monk (depending upon their religion), along with their sponsor and we'd informally appeal to the court to expunge their record.
Counties found they could also make MORE money by BUILDING bigger jails. Okay how do you do that? Well you overstuff the ones you have, that's how. Suddenly, we're getting less and less referrals and we're not being asked anymore to set up "formal" alternative sentencing programs in the USA anymore. We thought this would all change when the Trafficking Act of 2000 was passed giving sex trafficking federal recognition, but that victory was short-lived. By 2002, Randall Tobias came in and took all of that money and transferred it to "faith based groups" only, all of who our history had shown universally failed when it came to working with prostitutes. Now why would you want to fund failure?
I'll tell you why. Because in 2003, after this had passed, every meeting of our program which was being held at every Salvation Army or Catholic Charity across the USA at this point in time was banned from their property. Everyone of our members who worked for them in some capacity like "outreach", was fired. Women we had been working with were all booted right out of the program. It was a house-cleaning and I had no idea why. If we had been ineffective, I'd understand. Then I saw the grant applications going out asking for money to hire people to do what we'd been doing for free and then I understood. Didn't mean it would work however. Because again we were doing this because we found our community didn't respond to any workers who had not "been there" themselves. So suddenly we now have nowhere to hold meetings, and I've got 1/2 of our fellowship now out of a job. My phone took off that year so hard I literally had a stroke by July. I then spent a few years after this going in and out of the ICU and it took me a few more years just to get back on my feet.