This year has seen an unprecedented amount of inmates released from prisons. With national attention drawn to the incarceration epidemic by the media, and President Obama, himself, it is up to America as a nation to begin to address crime, incarceration, and help eliminate recidivism. The job market is difficult for the average American, but even worse for a convicted felon. That is where individuals and groups are offering innovative solutions to help convicts learn skills and take advantage of talents they may not even know they possess.
Learning Skill To Stay Out Of Trouble
Many prisons are offering classes to teach skills that the inmate will be able to utilize to find employment after release, such as coding or even firefighting. The Marshall Project recently reported about an act of kindness that has led to a convict gaining a new skill and a sense of purpose. After reading about a brutal beating that an inmate named George Williams received from guards at Attica prison, US Army Specialist Donald Huber was compelled to help. Starting an online fundraiser, Huber raised nearly $6,000. These funds have gone toward helping Williams complete barber school, and he is now attempting to get certified, with hope of becoming a barber and not returning to crime.
Utilizing Knowledge And Skills
Another creative solution is to allow inmates to use their experiences and possible expertise to prevent the crimes they once perpetuated. This has been a common practice among hackers who have been arrested, but can work for a number of other crimes. CBS reports of a burglar named Michael Durden who has started to post videos on YouTube helping the public stay safe and protect themselves. While he is still incarcerated, this can open the door for various consulting positions for Micheal and other criminals seeking reform and the opportunity to help.
Granted the job marked is still difficult for anyone, but perhaps the only way to eliminate an endless cycle of crime is to direct an equal measure of resources toward education, skill building, and reintegration as there has been toward ending mass incarceration. What do you think: Can offering skills and opportunities stop the cycle of recidivist crimes? Can inmates be reintegrated into society and provide benefits and services? Tell us what you think: Facebook and Twitter