It is undeniable that some people make mistakes, and when they have been appropriately punished for their mistakes, they deserve a chance to start over. This applies to people who have made small mistakes and those who have committed drug crimes in Minnesota. After leaving prison, they should be able to find a job in Minneapolis-St. Paul and restart their lives.
Many states, however, do not have the programs in place to support prisoners reentering society. The state’s department of corrections will work on providing services to released offenders with the goal that these services will then lead to jobs. But a new approach has been much more successful at getting people on their feet and lowering the rates of recidivism.
The program focuses on working first and allowing the former offenders to arrange things like drug rehabilitation, addiction treatment and some of the other things that could lead back to criminal activities. The idea is that once people who have served time for drug crimes start working that they will want to continue to do what they can to keep their job and succeed.
Minnesotans who have been arrested and served their punishment for drug crimes deserve to have a second chance, and this includes finding a job. Being able to work will reduce their likelihood of being involved in criminal activity. It remains to be seen whether the Minnesota Department of Corrections will adopt a program similar to a work-first model. As other work-first programs in other states succeed, it might increase the likelihood that Minnesota will adopt a similar program.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “From Prison to a Paycheck,” Howard Husock, Aug. 3, 2012
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