Geoffory Sanders could have been out of prison on parole five years ago. He has nowhere to go, so he waits behind bars, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Sanders is unable to provide the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles an acceptable address where officials can feel comfortable the convicted burglar will stay out of trouble after being freed. If he can’t find a suitable place, Sanders will serve his entire 15-year sentence, getting out in 2011. Sanders is one of about 500 inmates in Georgia’s packed prison system who don’t qualify for parole only because they have nowhere on the outside to live.
The parole board estimates that housing the parolees costs a total of about $23,000 per day – more than $8 million a year. The $47 per inmate average daily cost can run much higher if an inmate has special mental health or medical needs. With the help of a $700,000 federal grant, the board and several other state agencies are trying to provide temporary housing for so-called “residence-problem inmates.” So far, 17 inmates have been released under the program since April, staying in housing provided largely by faith-based organizations in four places. The organizations are paid $600 per month to house the parolees. The temporary, transitional housing helps inmates ease back into mainstream society.