Holder Plugs Inmate Re-Entry In Visit to Philadelphia’s STAR


In a boost for prison re-entry efforts, Attorney General Eric Holder visited the Philadelphia federal court system’s Supervision to Aid Re-Entry (STAR) program yesterday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Holder’s visit came amid a three-month-old push from the Justice Department to address recidivism and problems of prison overpopulation and scale back the use of long prison sentences for certain drug-related crimes. For too long, Holder said, the federal system has ignored the conditions that result in many ex-inmates’ returning to a life of crime, while states have taken the lead in designing programs for ex-offenders. “We’re at a point where we have to do things differently to prevent people from becoming involved with the system at all,” he said. “We don’t spend nearly enough money on these kinds of programs.” Philadelphia officials launched STAR seven years ago in an effort to cut the violent crime rate. While a few other federal courts have similar courses for low-level offenders, the Philadelphia’s is the only one open to inmates with violent criminal pasts.

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