Maybe someone finally got it right.
In Illinois, they’re trying a new program. They’re desperate to find a way to keep some of the 40,000 inmates due to be released this year from re-offending and returning to prison. The solution? A multi-prong approach. Treat the addictions. Give job training. And perhaps the most important part, help them find housing away from their old neighborhood, with its traps and dangers.
I’ve said before that the last part is perhaps the most critical. If we really want to break the cycle of offense-incarceration-parole-offense, then we have to help the inmates and parolees break their old habits. They’re told not to associate with felons, drug dealers, and so on as a condition of their parole. But with no skills, and one or more prison terms on their record, who’s going to hire them, and pay them enough to have a reasonable chance to stay away from the places they should?
Parolees go back to their old neighborhoods because they have nowhere else to go. They have no money, and usually no skills. So they end up surrounded by the things and people that got them in trouble in the first place.
Maybe this is how you start to change things.
The New York Times reports.