Monday, April 09, 2007

ADOC Expanding prisoner re-entry program

It's nice to know that the DOC will no longer be throwing releasees out in the street with a bus ticket and $10. I know that sounds smarmy and, I guess it is to some degree, but I really am glad to see that under Commissioner Richard Allen an effort is actually being made to address different areas of the prison overcrowding problem. I hope they keep up the monumental task of correcting the department of corrections.

Montgomery Advertiser

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Alabama Department of Corrections is starting a new re-entry program designed to help inmates adjust to life outside of prison, Commissioner Richard Allen said Monday.

The program will attempt to help inmates find the information and necessary resources to get back on their feet, helping with tasks like obtaining a birth certificate, Social Security card, driver's license and a GED Certificate.

The new transition program is based on one currently in place for persons living with HIV or AIDS within the corrections system. It will be supervised by Elana M. Parker, an employee with the Alabama Department of Public Health who is working with ADOC for two years.

The state has 28,000 prisoners on its rolls, and ADOC estimates that more than 95 percent of those will eventually leave prison.

Studies have shown that without a sound re-entry plan and support from the home community, many inmates will return to prison within 12 months after release. Recidivism rates are lower for those who transition back into society with re-entry services.

Parker coordinated the Alabama Prison Initiative for HIV positive inmates at Tutwiler, Limestone, and Kilby Correctional Facilities.

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