To deal with the 975 state inmates returning to Milwaukee County this summer, authorities are taking a harder look at high-risk cases like Nathaniel Terry, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Instead of occasional, perhaps monthly or even bi-monthly, trips to a probation office during his three years of extended supervision, Terry, 28, an admitted armed robber, has joined dozens of offenders in a new intensive-supervision program. He groused that he’d paid his debt to society with six years in prison. However, statistics indicate he’s highly likely to commit another crime.
With a growing number of inmates being set free, officials are going to new lengths to try limiting how many find a way back to prison, with a boost in probation agents on the streets and new state and private-sector programs trying to keep clients focused on new lives, not old ways. The Department of Corrections has installed more than 400 agents and delivered more than $23 million in grants to private agencies for job-placement and drug-recovery programs for Milwaukee County’s returning inmates. In the intensive supervision program started in January, eight agents each supervise up to 20 offenders, instead of the typical 80 to 100. It involves weekly police-station visits, drug tests, and constant ankle-bracelet monitoring for Terry, who fits the program’s demographics because he was once a gun-carrying criminal and is under 30, approximately the age at which street-crime offense rates drop off dramatically.