Federal reentry program lowering recidivism rates in Minnesota:
For some, prisons become a revolving door with many re-offending and ending up back behind bars just months or less after release.
The person we are talking about has been in prison 10, 15, maybe 20 years. The reality they are released into makes no sense to them. They likely have little education, work history or exposure to now modern staples like iPhones. And those friends they had before prison are nowhere to be found. So now what?
For some felons released in Minnesota, that transition is becoming clearer thanks to a now almost 4-year-old federal reentry program.
The offenders now sit face-to-face at a table with judges, probation officers, attorneys, even one-time inmates. These people take a role in making sure the offenders have resources to become contributing members of the community.
It's an 18-month long program with meetings scheduled every other week. And, as it turns out, it's working. 'Unfortunately, when we started the program, there was a 74 percent recidivism rate and now with this rather simple intervention we've brought the rate way down because we are giving these guys the chance to be successful in the community,' said Susan Nelson, a federal judge.
Part of it is also helping them with housing and employment, so we have over 95 percent of them are employed on a full time basis,' said Donovan Frank, a federal judge.
The recidivism rate has gone from 73 percent to 27 percent.
This is a room full of attorneys with the
The judges both say there were skeptics at the beginning. Now, they say many have changed their minds when they see the success rate and the money saved on re-incarcerating and supervision
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