The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 4, 2014

Prison work release programs

— Prison work release programs sought multiple goals for its inmates and soundings community. First, I know that many of you reading this will be saying to yourself it is not safe to have criminals, people that were arrested, back out on our streets to work.

What if I could assure you that it would be completely safe, that specially trained armed corrections officers will be watching their every move? Along with having armed guards, the prisoners will be hand selected for the program.

The prisoners cannot be in prison for a violent crime, only medium or low scale offenses would be accepted. Also, the prisoners must go through physical and mental screening to insure safety for the guards and community.

There are also financial gains for the prison and community, and many benefits for the inmates that will be working in these work programs. Many of the men have little to no work history, having them in this program would instill and improve a work ethic that these prisoners may not have. If you have inmates in institutional maintenance, a prison can greatly reduce its operating costs. When inmates are locked up for a long period of time tensions become high and that is when you see problems, in other words it reduces idleness.

Having inmates work helps prepare them for when they are released, it teaches them responsibility, individual productivity and the finical reward that it comes with it. Along with that comes the self-discipline that is needed when released. Many of these jobs will provide more than basic skills to work at specific jobs that require licensing, which is very difficult for ex-convicts to get. The main goal for the release program is to lower recidivism rates among inmates.

Patrick Murphy,


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