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    Michigan officials have been trying to decide whether or not they should release another 5,000 prisoners into society. This action would save Michigan $260 million between 2005 and 2010. This issue has raised a lot of societal concerns in the community. As it already is, prisoners that are released into Michigan communities are having a difficult time finding employment. At this time in our state, the economy is already at a significantly low point. With an influx of prisoners being released into society, the search for jobs would become even more difficult. If the individuals who are already searching for jobs are unsuccessful, an additional group of individuals each year will only make the process more arduous.

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    Many people are worried that the release of these prisoners into a society that is experiencing difficult economic times could just lead to more problems in the justice system. Many prisoners that have been released into society get back into trouble after some time due to the fact that they can't get a job and they ultimately return to their bad habits. This presents a problem to the communities when trying to promote a safe living environment. It also deems the action of the Michigan officials futile. There would be no point in releasing the prisoners into society if they were only going to return in a short period of time.

    The Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative is a program that has been created to try to make the transfer from prison to the community more smooth. It educates prisoners on different housing options that they have and it tries to help them with job initiatives, while improving the individuals and maintaining a safe community. Here is a link to the MPRI website.

     

     

    References:

    http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2009/03/state_officials_mulling_whethe.html

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    Jocelyn Cutean serves as Morality and Family policy correspondent for the Michigan Policy Network. She is a first-year student at Michigan State, majoring in Theatre and English. Jocelyn has experience working on the executive board of the Waterford Chapter Coalition for Youth. She has also piloted a grant funded city wide public service announcement entitled, "It Just Wasn't Worth It" which exposes the repercussions of driving while intoxicated. Jocelyn enjoys art of all forms, from writing to performance.