Local Politics

Lawmakers get ideas on reducing recidivism

Posted October 6, 2010

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— Within three years of getting out of prison, ex-convicts are 36 to 40 percent more likely to commit another crime, Attorney General Roy Cooper told lawmakers Wednesday.

Cooper addressed the Joint Select Committee on Ex-Offender Reintegration into Society, a group of House and Senate members that is developing a plan to help former inmates.

He shared some ideas of the StreetSafe Task Force, a group that he and state Correction Secretary Alvin Keller head that offers tools and tips to ex-convicts to make them productive citizens as they return to their communities.

The following are some of the task force's 24 preliminary recommendations:

  • Strengthen and support nonprofit groups helping ex-offenders integrate back into their communities.
  • Increase contact between offenders and their families before an offender gets out of prison.
  • Assign inmates to both educational and work programs to increase participation.
  • Improve job training opportunities for inmates.
  • Build networks with private employers and provide incentives to hire ex-convicts.
  • Establish incentives to develop housing for former inmates.

"When you take this effort, when you coordinate it, when you try to re-integrate people back into society and you reduce the number of repeat offenders, you protect people from crime, you save money and you help people," Cooper said.

A final list of suggestions from the task force will be sent to Gov. Beverly Perdue soon, he said.

The legislative committee is scheduled to meet again in two weeks to learn more about other states' programs for reducing recidivism.


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  • Inter Alios Oct 7, 2010

    "danimalfurry" - according to the law of this state (15A-1340.12) "The primary purposeof sentencing a person convicted of a crime are to impose a punishment commensurate with the injury the offense has caused, taking into account factors that may diminish or increase the offender's culpability; to protect the public by restraining offenders; to assist the offender toward rehabilitation and restoration to the community as a lawful citizen; and to provide a general deterrent to criminal behavior." Your idea of what a prison is for is actually what they do, not what they are suppose to do.

  • Barely Oct 7, 2010

    It's not the prison system's job to reform people. That is the job of social workers, outreach groups, ministries, etc. A prison is for detaining and punishing criminals.

  • readme Oct 7, 2010

    It's asking too much for the government to improve this statistic. They can't be expected to change someone's heart, and that 30-40% mark is normal for a person already who doesn't respect the law. They can just do a better job of enforcing laws, and we can stiffen penalties as a deterrent, esp. for repeat offenders. We don't want to give them too much in prison to help them on the outside. There is a maual labor job waiting for them. Prison is supposed to be punishment.

  • Duke _Nukem Oct 7, 2010

    The death penalty stops recidivism

  • Inter Alios Oct 7, 2010

    You take your car to the garage because the engine is knocking, and leave it there for two months. If the mechanic does nothing to it, you can safely bet the engine is going to knock when you pick it up from the garage. Exact same result with sending people to prison. Anything you do to help an inmate become a productive member of society helps us all.

  • tsettle1881 Oct 7, 2010

    Wow, the ignorance and hate on this comment board is amazing and puts the lie to America being a "xtian" nation. Hating on every convicted felon in the state is so ignorant. You all would be shocked to know how many felons are around you everyday at work, at school, in your neighborhood. Not all felons are rapists and murderers and molesters, but as long as you treat them all with equal disdain you will have recidivism.

    And what about all the rich folks who screw up but can afford to get a big time lawyer and get out of the charges? Or the offspring of prosecutors getting caught up in major drug stings and getting to go home while his buddies get to wear a scarlet "F" on their chest for the next 60 years? Or how about the guy who makes one bad emotional decision when he is 23 and gets to be hounded by house hens for the rest of his life, no matter how much he achieves they can always cut him down with a whisper. What is fair about that?

    Life's not fair you say? No duh, tell me about

  • jscletsplay1002002 Oct 7, 2010

    This is society's problem so society needs to fix it. I would rather pay taxes to rehabilitate and try to pointt offenders in the right direction, so they dont rape my daughter or wife, rob me or kill me and my family in a home invasion.

    Yes I agree, there should be things for the victims, also. I beleive there are some things already in place for them, and possibly "more" should be done for them, if whats being done or offered isnt helping.

  • wayneuber Oct 6, 2010

    ... once again we've been re-directed towards programs that benefit the offender (at the expense of victims?). If the truth was told yes, offenders are to some extent an isolated and captive audience for many programs and victims of violent crime are often forced into hiding or a "transcient existence" because of real fears... but never has the though crossed the minds of these leaders that a victim might actually be driven to a life of crime because of the setbacks they realize because the state didn't have the gumption to cage one of their favorite animals for life or actually execute one that deserved it...

  • ORMA Oct 6, 2010

    What else are these lawmakers going to try to put on the backs of law abiding, tax paying citizens? This has got to end sometime soon. We can't take much more of it.

  • babedan Oct 6, 2010

    Once again look at a way to tax the law abiding citizen and glorify those who decided to break the law and looked for a shortcut. I agree with coe18c. Make a prison a prison. Where one pays for the crimes they make instead of the law abiding citizens paying for their crimes.