The purpose of prisons is to make our communities safer. However, when convicted prisoners are released on parole without any resources to find gainful employment or reintegrate into society they can be just as, if not more, dangerous than they were before. Recognizing this problem, states grant money to programs to help parolees successfully reintegrate as a productive member of society. While the money is not simply given to the parolees as cash, the money funds programs that help parolees at no cost to them.
California Department of Corrections: Going Home Los Angeles Program
This program, which in 2010 was granted approximately 2 million dollars, targets male felons ages 18 to 35 who are at a high risk of returning to their previous criminal behavior, also called recidivism. The program will work to integrate and propagate best practices on parolee reentry into society, and work to remove common barriers that prevent parolee success in reentry.
Montana Department of Corrections: Department of Juvenille Corrections
The State of Montana's program to target youth offenders coming out of institutional mental and health programs was granted approximately two million dollars in 2010. The target population committed crimes that would be considered felonies if the offender was an adult. The program utilizes care coordinators to work with the offender and their families on constructive care for the parolee to increase his chances of successful reentry. This program will begin with sessions with the family and offender while he is still incarcerated, to set up the program that will continue after he is let out on parole.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice was granted almost two million dollars in 2010 to target inmates who had been confined in administrative segregation. These are offenders who have been deemed a danger to the prison staff and other inmates. They are housed by themselves, allowed out only for showering and one hour of exercise each day. They are ineligible to participate in programs while they are housed in prison. These factors make them prone to recidivism when they are released. This grant targets these inmates for assistance in obtaining and maintaining long-term employment, maintaining a stable residence, and developing positive family and social interactions.
Micah McDunnigan has been writing on politics and technology since 2007. He has written technology pieces and political op-eds for a variety of student organizations and blogs. McDunnigan earned a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of California, Davis.