WATCH: Searching for Justice – Making reentry work after incarceration

Every year, more than 600,000 people leave state and federal prisons in the United States and millions more cycle in and out of jails. Many of those individuals find that even though they have served their time, they still are not free, often facing barriers to housing, food, employment and more. Their criminal histories follow them long into the future, making staying out of jail or prison difficult.

Watch the special event in the player above.

The rate at which formerly incarcerated individuals return to prison is stubbornly high. Within three years of release, roughly 40 percent of those released are reincarcerated.

Advocates argue that making reentry to society successful for the formerly incarcerated leaves us all better off.

Race is also a factor. Black Americans are incarcerated in state and federal prisons at five times the rate of white Americans.

Join PBS NewsHour’s Nicole Ellis Thursday, December 2nd at 7 p.m. ET for a live event focusing on making reentry work.

During this live special we’ll be answering your questions.