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June 25, 2011

"Gov. Brownback starts faith-based program for parolees"

The title of this post is the headline of this new article discussing an interesting initiative by the Governor of Kansas to improve reentry services.  Here is how it starts:

Kansas needs 5,000 volunteer mentors a year for paroled criminals, Gov. Sam Brownback said this week. He spoke Monday in Wichita at the launch of an effort to merge government resources, social services, churches, businesses and mentors to keep parolees from returning to prison.

He announced the Out4Life faith-based program at the start of three days of workshops in which service providers and others discussed re-entry approaches. The Kansas Department of Corrections will work with Prison Fellowship, a Christian group that created Out4Life about two years ago.

Brownback said he wants a mentor for each released criminal. “What we’re asking is for people of heart in all faiths and people of goodwill to come forward and help us out with this,” he said. “We get it right, the cost to the state goes down, crime goes down in the state.”

Kansas officials say they release about 5,000 inmates a year and about 40 percent of them will return to prison within three years.

As states struggle to offset budget cuts to their re-entry programs, Kansas becomes the 13th state to adopt the program, officials said. “As the states have cut back,” said Pat Nolan, a vice president with the Prison Fellowship, “Out4Life is a way of calling the community and the private sector to come alongside government.”

Alex Luchenitser, a lawyer with Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said such programs might coerce people into religion and cut out those who resist. “The states need to provide nonreligious re-entry programming that all inmates can comfortably take part in,” he said.

Nolan said, “We give them the goodness of the gospel,” but people do not have to accept it to get help with finding jobs, housing, substance abuse treatment and supportive relationships. “The mentoring is by far the most effective part,” he said. “A lot of these inmates have never had an adult in their life worth looking up to.”

June 25, 2011 at 09:11 AM | Permalink

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123D. The overwhelming majority of prisoners are frequent flyers, ultra-violent (despite their fictitious adjudicated charges from a plea agreement). They should be re-entered into the other world, in the majority of cases. Not one word about victims from these pro-criminal, pious hypocrites. They will go out, commit hundreds of crimes each, devastate the local economy, victimize their families. However, they will generate massive make work sinecures for the rent seeking lawyer and taxpayer blood sucking social services parasites. That is why they are kept alive, immunized from 90% of their crimes, and no one may even verbally criticize them or lose their job for verbal abuse.

More left wing ideology behind a mask of piety and religion.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 25, 2011 10:12:47 PM

I respect the prisoners' skills: social, networking, survival, and street combat. Their skills are superior to those of the average person, and they were acquired early in life in the ghetto.

Sometimes I question who is right. You and I took some satisfaction from graduating from high school, after quite a bit of work, and several years. They can duplicate that feeling in 2 minutes for $5 with a little crack.

Who is stupid? Who is smart? Who needed a different mentor? Answer is not clear.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 27, 2011 6:09:44 AM

I am assuming that by "faith-based" programs, Governor Brownback refers to programs with religious overtones. I am afraid that that is a terrible idea. A better, in my opinion, program may be based on skills-training and subsequent assitance with finding "gainful" employment. The problem is that nobody wants to hire ex-felons (although the stated reason is almost never is the ex-felon's past conviction). What the states can do - I am just thinking aloud - is expunge the criminal records after the passage of certain time. (I do not know after how long, though.) All these people have paid their debt to society - at least that is what the courts and public call the penalties. I am extremely leery of anything to do with religion - especially in the government. Religion and politics do not mix, at all. (Religion works hand in glove with demagoguery.) Furthermore, most of the inmates pretend - yes, pretend - to have chnaged owing to their religion, when in fact, they have not changed at all. This reminds me of a case (I read the opinion of one coert, which citation I cannot recall off the top of my head). In that case, the defendant goes bback before the court for resentencing due to the crack amendment. As a part of the pleadings, the defendant had attached many affidavits and letters of support how much he had changed for the better through is attendance at religious meetings, etc. At the resentencing heraing, the judge asked the prosecutor as to what he thought of the defendant and what his opinion on resentencing the defendant to a shorter term. To that, the prosecutor said (I am paraphrasing this quote a little): "Your Honor, I do not know what it is with these defendants is; but as soon as they are remanded to prison, they seem to find two things - one, they find "remorse," and two, they find God. No one else has been able to see either." It elicited a hearty laughter from me and my peers due to the "honest-to-God" truth in the prosecutors' statement. I must say that a vast majority of the inmates become afflicted with this religiosity in prison. I am calling religiosity, because they attend church, etc. whlile they are violating every prison rule! By going through with this religion-based (again, I am assuming that is what these "faith-based" programs are), we are only cheating ourselves.

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