Prisoner re-entry still a hot topic a...

Prisoner re-entry still a hot topic at Cal State San Bernardino...

There are 16 comments on the San Bernardino County Sun story from Apr 2, 2009, titled Prisoner re-entry still a hot topic at Cal State San Bernardino.... In it, San Bernardino County Sun reports that:

The proposed Crest program - intended to help former inmates resume lives as responsible citizens instead of returning to crime - is still in need of funds.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at San Bernardino County Sun.

Kathleen Robles

Ontario, CA

#1 Apr 3, 2009
The State of California has a business incentive program called the Enterprise Zones. These are 42 geographically designated areas located throughout the State that give businesses who hire ex-offenders an income tax credit. The business MUST be located within and Enterprise Zone. This program would surely benefit those ex-offenders in need of jobs by offering a business who hires them a State tax break. The Cities of San Bernardino, Colton, and unincorporated portions of the County have such an Enterprise Zone. If you want more on information the program, you can go to www.SBVEZ.com or www.CAEZ.org or please contact me at City of San Bernardino EDA office.- Kathleen Robles, SBVEZ Manager for the City of San Bernardino
Wobbles

Hesperia, CA

#2 Apr 3, 2009
I'm all for helping them re-enter society. so buy a plane and let them re-enter....from 30,000 feet with no parachute.

How about we work to get honest people employed before holding criminals' hands? If their life is hard, they have nobody to blame but themselves. Their actions got them where they are. There's alot of good people who've done nothing wrong who are hurting and the felons should take a back seat to them.
thinkaboutthis

Boron, CA

#3 Apr 4, 2009
Wobbles---sorry to tell you this-but extermination is illegal....the "lock 'em up" forever mentality has gotten us into trouble with the federal government and we are on the brink of releasing over 50,000 prisoners due to our "lock 'em up" forever mentality. The feds are about to take $8 billion out of the State general fund....don't you think that will have an even greater impact on YOUR tax dollars Wobbles....oh, let me guess...you probably don't pay your taxes....
Reader Bob

United States

#4 Apr 4, 2009
The issue of parolee employment or re-entry into society is one that remains a hot topic. These individuals for whatever reason chose a life of crime and got caught. At that very moment (of getting caught by law enforcement) they began their indebtness to society or to the tax-payer. To lock them up and provide care and supervision while waiting their trial, the cost of their trail and then their incarceration for however long the courts deemed necessary, they have cost me, the tax payer big bucks. There is no return on these investments. It is and has been money down a dark and deep hole. Now released and back at the door of society, some feel more of my tax dollars are needed to assist these individuals. Many quickly return to a life of crime and the process starts over again, all the while the tax payer is having to foot the bill. Things MUST change.

These individuals should be required to repay society for every bit of the funds it takes to give them three hots and a cot. While in prison, they should have to work in some form or fashion where revenue is generated as a result to offset the cost of their lockup. Farming, having and maintaining a dairy, working in chain gains for he untrusted doing community service work, painting off graffiti. Seasonal firefighting (which is done already in some locations) or car/truck/heavy equipment repair. Something!!

Just sitting around shooting the breeze, playing basketball, lifting weights waiting for their time to pass is a no win situation. It is NOT a deterrence, but merely an inconvenience for them to be locked up. For those who are locked up for longer periods of time, let them make recycled concrete using sledge hammers. Use their labor to reopen/remodel Alcatraz where the hardened never to see freedom again will reside. Everyone works doing something to offset the cost of their lockup. Prison life should not be comfortable. If our military can live in 120 F heat in a tent with blowing sand, then the prisons should be no better off. The worst day in living conditions of a solder’s life should be the best day of a prisoner’s life in terms of living conditions. The prisons should be designed to make the inmate want to NEVER EVER return. Instead, today they smirk and simply say, yea, OK I can do another 3-5 years, and I will be back! There is NO deterrence. The Sheriff in Mariposa Arizona has for almost 20 years had a prison system that is very little cost to the Arizona taxpayer. The meals, keep you alive, and the living conditions get your attention. If they complain, he tells them “good, don’t come back!!” There are many lessons that can be learned from his method of rehabilitating prisoners, men and women alike. It is time to sit up and take notice.
Resident of Redlands

Yucaipa, CA

#5 Apr 5, 2009
I agree on many of the issues you brought up. I am aware of what is being done in the Arizona area you mention. yes, that is the way it should be. The easy going, free bed and three meals a day life in many prisons is counter to what a prison should be. some people actually commit crimes so they can go to prison where they can get more than what they have for free. You are incorrect though in one matter. There needs to be a door open for those who are released and want to do right. They need to have a chance. If you live in Redlands then you should know that the drug court program in Redlands is having a high success rate. I was not with the program. I, as a person with a Psychology Degree, was invited to hear and see what was being taught. I heard, I saw, and I helped too. I saw people's lives change for the better. I saw sincere desire to listen and learn and change. I am so happy to see the one person who did not at first want to even begin to listen; who I convinced to at least give it a try; around town a changed MAN today. A man whose whole life has changed for the better because of that program. A man who works full time. I run into him every so often and ask how he is doing. I watched a miracle happen in his life. Others who are thought to be hopeless need a chance. Even everyone else in that room had given upon that guy, but I did not. I convinced him to at least give it a chance, and he made it! So I must ask you: How many lives would you throw down the drain by refusing to give then a chance just so you can have your tax dollars? Wouldn't it be better if instead of turning your back you got involved in helping to mentor a person in need of appropriate guidance? Why don't you put your money in your pocket and go out and reach out to those in need of guidance. Walk. Go downtown. It won't cost you anything, and what you get in return-as I get with the joy of seeing a life saved-is worth more than any money can buy. The way the system has been has forced many people to go back to crime and return to prison. When released they get 200 dollars and must use the money for one set of clothes and a bus ticket to the county they resided in when arrested. After buying a meel or two they are then broke and usually homeless. How many of them who would really like to have a life doing right would you continue to deprive of the opportunity? If we don't come together and each reach out a hand of help, the situation will only deteriorate. yes, prison reform such as in Arizona is needed, but also what's needed is an intermediary place for those released to get some hlp in the transition to life outside prison, and more people need to help reach out to those who lost their way.
Resident of Redlands

Yucaipa, CA

#6 Apr 5, 2009
Continued: To Reader Bob: Sometimes it only takes a sincere compassion to someone to help them start a new life as in the man who everyone had given up on but I hadn't. Try reaching out instead of griping. Get involved in helping instead. It may just change your life for the better. I put this forth to you as a challenge. I hope you take it. I wish you the best too.
Resident of Redlands

Yucaipa, CA

#7 Apr 5, 2009
The above to posts of mine are to Reader Bob. Bob, there is a progam in Redlands called Step by Step. You can also start there. Go see lives that have been changed.Go be a part of changing lives for the better.
IMAGINE NO RELIGION

Crestline, CA

#8 Apr 5, 2009
Resident of Redlands wrote:
Continued: To Reader Bob: Sometimes it only takes a sincere compassion to someone to help them start a new life as in the man who everyone had given up on but I hadn't.
Could you spare a little of that compassion for the folks who got laid off and can't support their families? There are only about a million of them. Maybe the ex-cons could get some of the jobs the illegals have? At least they are legal and would keep the money here.
Resident of Redlands

Yucaipa, CA

#9 Apr 5, 2009
If every able person reached out and helped one other person in need soon there would be no one in need. What a great would this CAN be!
IMAGINE NO RELIGION wrote:
<quoted text>
Could you spare a little of that compassion for the folks who got laid off and can't support their families? There are only about a million of them. Maybe the ex-cons could get some of the jobs the illegals have? At least they are legal and would keep the money here.
thinkaboutthis

Boron, CA

#10 Apr 5, 2009
Compassion is great....but it comes down to the bottom line. It costs taxpayers $45,000 per year per person for incarceration and reincarceration. Prisoner reentry programs can cost less than half that amount and prevent folks from going back to prison. So, if your mentality is to lock them up-you are not being fiscally wise. Think with your dollars.....it's prudent to provide programs to those returning to our communities from incarceration.
Resident of Redlands

Yucaipa, CA

#11 Apr 5, 2009
Without compassion the prisoner reentry programs would never have started. It's about helping people while providing a positive solution to a failed system in rehabilitation.
thinkaboutthis wrote:
Compassion is great....but it comes down to the bottom line. It costs taxpayers $45,000 per year per person for incarceration and reincarceration. Prisoner reentry programs can cost less than half that amount and prevent folks from going back to prison. So, if your mentality is to lock them up-you are not being fiscally wise. Think with your dollars.....it's prudent to provide programs to those returning to our communities from incarceration.
thinkaboutthis

Boron, CA

#12 Apr 6, 2009
Resident of Redlands wrote:
Without compassion the prisoner reentry programs would never have started. It's about helping people while providing a positive solution to a failed system in rehabilitation. <quoted text>
I am not disagreeing--but to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as well as the legislature--it's not about compassion, nor is it completely about the cost savings--it's about the public perception that all "felons" should be locked up forever. It's a sad story when projects like Crest have been working on this for years and not made any head way.
Resident of Redlands

Yucaipa, CA

#13 Apr 6, 2009
It is sad because I have seen first hand that positive changes are possible. Most people would rather complain than get involved in helping to make the world a better place by helping those who need help. So much can be done and a lot needs to be done, but without support too many fall through the cracks. We who are involved need to spread the word to others that if we all don't get involved there will be no great change and that it takes all of us able people together to make a big difference. I dread seeing this country 20 years from now if we fail to mobilize people to get involved and start doing their share in reaching out a hand and work to make it possible for lives to chance through programs like this. We must cry out to others to get involved now before it's too late.
Resident of Redlands

Yucaipa, CA

#14 Apr 6, 2009
My reply to you is above this one.
thinkaboutthis wrote:
<quoted text>
I am not disagreeing--but to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation as well as the legislature--it's not about compassion, nor is it completely about the cost savings--it's about the public perception that all "felons" should be locked up forever. It's a sad story when projects like Crest have been working on this for years and not made any head way.
James

United States

#15 Apr 10, 2009
This is a serious problem within our city. I work with parolees that are and have been in substance abuse programs and are really trying to change. Doors are litterally slamed in their faces. They need jobs!! They need people to give them another chance. They are OUR brothers. sisters. sons, daughters annd so on. They are not those that have been dumped here, they live here as do their families. Get on board and give them a chance, most of them won't let you down and are very hard workers.
Resident of Redlands

Yucaipa, CA

#16 Apr 10, 2009
I know James, and he is correct on this point. No, I am not a parolee. Hi James.

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