President Obama understands how asinine and un-American it is to send prisoners away to pay their debts to society for illicit activity and then make it impossible for them to return to society in a legitimate and productive way. Therefore the administration announced a $20 million federal grant to help ex-offenders return to the work force.
U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis pledges $20.6 million to be split among 17 organizations nationwide that help the formerly imprisoned return to work instead of returning to a life of crime — and ultimately prison.
People who serve time in prison shouldn’t face a “lifetime sentence of unemployment” when they get out, Solis said before the announcement to the media Thursday morning.
The United States is the world’s leader in caging human beings, in both overall numbers and percentages, even for trivial non-violent offenses. Worse and more nefarious is that when most of the 700,000 ex-offenders are put back into society each year, they often land head-first on the hard concrete of reality that they are blocked — again — from viable employment opportunities. It costs upward of $63 billion a year to house bodies en masse, and the total costs of incarceration is causing the economy of some states to collapse.
The Obama administration understands from a fiscal, law enforcement and social standpoint, it is far cheaper and wreaks less havoc on a society to invest in preventative measures than allow inmates and human potential to rot at the cost of $20,000 per prisoner. –terry shropshire