Karen Dove is Executive Director of ANEW, a nonprofit that improves people’s lives by providing quality training, employment navigation and supportive services leading to successful family wage careers. ANEW is the oldest continuously running pre-apprenticeship program in the country with an emphasis on recruiting women into the construction and transportation trades.
Throughout her career, Karen has utilized her entrepreneurial spirit and skills to create and implement new and innovative programs aimed at moving people into family wage jobs.
“We know family wage jobs are effective at preventing recidivism into substance use, and that jail leads to higher recidivism rates.”
“It starts with these kinds of charges (personal possession) that throw people into a cycle they have a hard time getting out of. When they get into the criminal legal system, they lose their license, and they can’t get a job or qualify for housing.”
Dove has personally experienced the impact of our current system, and how the double standards disproportionately impact people of color.
“I have friends and close family that have been caught up in a downward cycle that started with a possession charge. Frankly, some of them are lucky they were not people of color or they would have ended up in jail. Others were not so lucky. Almost all of them were spun into a cycle of debt and more arrest warrants, leading to more debt, and on and on. It affects self-esteem, earning potential, and opportunities for advancement. A record for possession takes away choice, and most disheartening, it takes away hope for the future. We need a different approach.”