Work-first programs showing success for released offenders

Work-first programs showing success for released offenders

| Aug 11, 2012 | Drug Charges |

There is one thing that officials with the department of corrections in every state are worried about: recidivism. When someone is arrested in St. Charles on a drug charge, convicted and sent to prison, there is a possibility that he or she will be back in prison within nine months. The more opportunity that individual has to work and thrive in a work environment, the less likely he or is to get in trouble again.

For a long time, prisons and the department of corrections thought that meant that when an individual is released from prison, the best thing to do is to deal with some of the issues that come from being in prison. After all, many thought, no one could hold down a job until he or she has gone through rehabilitation. A new approach, however, is showing much better results than previous programs and the rate of recidivism is much closer to 30 percent than the national average of 43.3 percent.

This program is designed to get former offenders into a job as quickly as possible. The individuals are put into jobs with private organizations, none of whom are receiving government subsidies for hiring former prisoners. The idea is that once these individuals have some income and some work experience, they will seek out services, like job training, drug treatment and others on their own.

The program is entirely voluntary and many of the people who have sought it out have spent years in jail and are tired of being in trouble. With some hard work, it seems many of them are succeeding after a former mistake.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “From Prison to a Paycheck,” Howard Husock, Aug. 3, 2012

Check out our drug crimes page to learn more about the work we have done with people charged with drug possession.