Joe: “It is a well-established fact that the people most likely to commit crimes in the future are those who have already done so in the past.”
Part of the problem there is that once you’ve been in prison, it’s pretty hard to find a job when you get out. I used to do case management through a church ministry. One of my former clients just got out of prison. He has a long record, including violent felonies.
I’ve known him for a while, and I know him well enough to believe that there’s been a change on the inside of this man. He’s ready to live a different life. And yet, he can’t get a job anywhere, because of his record. (Oh yeah, he could maybe work a temp job, but try living on that.)
I know that many people coming out of prison with criminal records are unemployable, and they need to eat, and they need to pay rent, and many have wives or husbands and children, and the bills must be paid, and the old life and the old way of getting by starts looking like the only way after a while.
One way to help keep ex-offenders from re-offending would be to give them the opportunity to work and provide for themselves and their families. They can go to school in prison, learn a trade in prison, even earn a college degree in prison. But what good is it to them if no employer will look past their rap sheet?