Sunday, March 16, 2008

Outta Town For A Spell

I'll be in Saratoga for three days attending a training conference. My Garbageway Gateway laptop went south on me so I'll be back on line after Wednesday. The training is for setting up a parolee reentry program (no I'm not on parole - through prolly should be) under a NYS initiative.

Already I am starting to get calls from interested parties in CNY. I got a call from a dad who's son is currently in prison for narcotics offenses - mostly possession. He said his 18 yo kid got hooked up with the wrong people and is paying the price. He is trying to see what help there is for his son's addiction before the kid gets released.

So many young people in prison do not have the support of their families. I told the guy that since he is already pulling for the son, that his chances of success are a lot greater than most others. I wished him and his son good luck and to call back when we are on line.

We are all responsible for what we do and must pay the price when we foul up. But as far as I know, this kid never pulled a violent felony and has paid the price with a State prison term. As a society, we are all better served if this kid keeps his nose clean and becomes a productive citizen.

So that's what the training is for; establishing a coordinated foundation of existing services to help keep high risk parolees from re-offending. This is definitely not what I wanted to get involved in and I resisted attempts to get ensnared in this project. I guess God had other plans.

There are about 62,000 state prisoners in 70 correctional facilities throughout New York. In 2003 it cost taxpayers almost $100 ($96.73) per day to maintain someone in a NYS prison. That is over $36,000 a year. I think it's a lot cheaper to help this non-violent kid stay out of jail.

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