Thursday, November 6, 2008

Impact of Incarceration on the Community

Re-integrating prisoners back into society is perhaps the most important function of the corrections process. That's according to Kenneth Houston of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. Houston was one of many speakers at a conference today on how incarceration affects communities sponsored by the Pennsylvania Prison Society at Duquesne University. Panelists discussed the need for inmates to learn skills in prison that will help them get a job and stay out of trouble once they're released. A Department of Corrections study from 2002 found that nearly half of prisoners are re-incarcerated within three years of their release. Debra Germany, executive director of Divine Intervention Ministries, urged that more funding be provided toward re-entry education. William DiMasico, executive director of the Prison Society, says to help the community, there must first be assistance to keep together the families of the prisoners. In the United States, 1 out of every 100 adults is in prison.

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