CITY HALL (CBS) — While Philadelphia works to reduce its prison population, it also must struggle with how to re-integrate the thousands of inmates after they’re released. A citation ceremony on Tuesday at City Hall called attention to the issue.
Councilmen Kenyatta Johnson and Curtis Jones presented a citation, declaring this ‘inmate awareness month,’ to Tracey Fisher, the founder of an inmate re-entry group called the People’s Union. Jones noted that two-thirds of inmates are in need of alcohol or drug treatment and 80 percent are unskilled.
“These factors contribute heavily to recidivism,” she said.
Johnson said addressing those problems could reduce recidivism, and repeat incarceration, estimating even a 10 percent reduction would save 45-Million dollars a year.
“Investment in social services that reduce the rate of re incarceration are not only economically prudent, they are morally incumbent upon any society.”
Fisher, having served 22 years himself, said he is proof rehabilitation can produce great results.
“It is amazing how a person can be one way today and another way tomorrow because of what’s in front of them right now.”