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Mailbag: We could gain more productive citizens

Mailbag: We could gain more productive citizens

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Nearly one in three adults in the US has been incarcerated. In our area it costs about $81,000 to incarcerate an individual inmate for each year of their sentence.

April has been designated Second Chance Month. It was founded to raise awareness and improve perceptions of people with a criminal record, as well as encourage second-chance opportunities, and drive momentum for policy changes.

The Second Chance Act provides funding for job training and mentoring as reentry is happening.

This is vital for increasing ways for success to happen.

Studies show that only 41% of inmates have earned a high school diploma or GED certificate. Fewer than half have an eighth-grade education. About half cannot read or write.

Having funds available to help people gain needed skills could absolutely prevent more crime from taking place. Raising awareness of the very real needs is also essential.

There are more than 44,000 legal restrictions against former inmates, even after they have served their time.

We spend a lot on incarceration. What if we also spent money on establishing Second Chances in our communities? Helping people to gain needed skills, education and opportunities for employment and housing? We could gain more productive citizens and they could gain a new way of life.

LaCheri Carlson




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