Perhaps no one wants to be seen supporting anything having to do with "being nice" to criminal offenders, lest they risk losing voters who might see them as being weak on criminals. Re-Entry is not about being "nice" to criminals. It's being smart about the causes of crime...repeat crime (recidivism) being the most significant...and taking intelligent action to re-direct criminal behavior. Coming out of prison is one of the hardest experiences in life. Even the best, most well prepared and educated former inmates find obstacles in their way that are almost impassable. Re-Entry programs are society's way of saying, "You've done your time, and if you want to live on the outside honorably and respectfully, we're willing to help you." Employers, educators and landlords to do that will tell you that the ones who succeed far outnumber the ones who don't.
I am most impressed with the efforts of the White House Office on Faith-Based and Community Re-Entry Intiatives (see www.whitehouse.gov/government/fbci), and the grassroots movement of re-entry programs across the U.S. as I mentioned in my prior blog. Few things are more important than us finding ways to help those who have erred in their past to get their feet on solid ground. Few people have greater incentive than those who have made mistakes and watched life and their families move on without them while they wasted in prison. Believe me, no matter what kind of prison or jail it was, they've paid a dear price that they keep on paying long after they are out. To read a good story about that, read my book. You can read some sample chapters and reviews at www.AMatterofTime.org.
Point Roberts, WA