Any assistance inmates can get before being released from prison is helpful, and a bill now awaiting Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s signature will bring faith-based groups and other volunteers into the mix, reports the Associated Press. The help is needed more than ever because the state correction department must trim $74 million from its budget over the next 15 1/2 months. The new bill sets up programs for the prisons department and the Ohio Department of Youth Services, which oversees prisons for juveniles.
The goal is to help inmates ease back to life outside prison and reduce return trips to Ohio’s overcrowded prisons, said department director Terry Collins. About 29,000 inmates were released last year. Returning to life outside prison involves more than finding a place to live and a job. Inmates often are abandoned by family and friends even though they’ve served their time, he said.