Statistics show that many incarcerated criminals commit other crimes after their release, and many return to their former lives. Now, a Virginia policy group is about to propose a plan that could help reduce those recidivism rates.
Many proposals aim to not only make prisoners useful upon release, but while they're in prison, says Drew Malloy, chief deputy superintendent of the Virginia Department of Correctional Education. One of his department’s cost-savers is a commercial drivers' license program, which will help low-risk offenders find work upon release, but also allow them to be delivery drivers for the DOC for a lower cost than outside contractors.
Malloy says they've also been concerned about younger offenders. "The fact is we want the juvenile offenders to come back into the community, so they can go back into their old schools if possible, or at least back into their communities with a GED or a high school diploma," he says.
The group will also propose providing housing for youth and adult ex-offenders and allowing working inmates to deposit some of their wages into accounts that they will have upon release.