Monday, March 30, 2009

Editorial: Closing the revolving door through education, training

An Associated Press dispatch the other day told of a new prison in Polk County.

The 350-man facility has a special mission — preparing inmates for “re-entry” to society.

That means education, job skills and substance-abuse rehabilitation.

The Florida prison system aims to halve its current population of 100,000 within five years.

Officials plan to do that by whittling away at the statistic that says one-third of inmates are back behind bars within three years — because they didn’t learn anything or change anything when they were in prison.

Short of giving up and merely allowing more criminals to go free, the fundamental concept of preparing inmates to succeed lawfully on the outside is worth a try. That is what all of us should want anyway.

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