IN Advocates Seek Jobs, Aid For Ex-Offenders To Cut Crime


If recidivism rates hold true, nearly 2,800 of the 4,400 felons who returned to the Indianapolis area from prisons last year will rob, steal, and commit more of the crimes that have sullied the city’s image, victimized residents, and cost taxpayers millions, says the Indianapolis Star. Jobe are key to turning that tide. Studies show ex-offenders with jobs are more likely to stay out of trouble. Most employers aren’t willing to hire ex-cons. The public sector doesn’t provide enough in tax incentives, and Indiana is one of the most restrictive states when it comes to laws and policies dealing with ex-offenders. “We either help them make a living or they’ll continue to take a living,” said Indianapolis Public Safety Director Earl Morgan. “The more barriers removed, the less recidivism you’ll see.”

Members of a task force formed by Mayor Bart Peterson say financial help should be made available to help ex-offenders get back on their feet, and it is also needed by employers expected to give them a chance at a job. An Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis study shows 65 percent of employers will not hire ex-offenders. In Congress, two Indiana representatives are co-sponsors of the Second Chance Act, which would authorize up to $100 million for programs to help ex-offenders. “It’s not a lot of money,” said Republican Mike Pence. “But it could get states thinking about doing something different, thinking long-term.”


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