FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) -This morning the governor and a group of experts working on an initiative called ‘Safe Streets and Second Chances’ gave an update from the rotunda on a pilot program that is aimed at successfully integrating inmates back into their communities after being released.
Research shows that about 70 percent of released inmates will end up back in the system. Governor Matt Bevin hopes that the new initiative will cut back on recidivism rates with five factors.
“One, that they have meaningful work trajectories. Two, that they’re able to have healthy thinking patterns. That they can effectively cope is the third one. That they have positive interpersonal relationships with others and that they are fully participating in their community and have positive engagement,” said Carrie Pettus-Davis, the program’s principal researcher.
Governor Bevin is calling a wrap-around approach because the program builds a team that wraps around each incarcerated individual.
“When you treat people with respect. When you give them the opportunity. When you provide a chance for them to assimilate and be productive members of society. When you give them that dignity, you can’t even begin to measure the upside trajectory that people find themselves on,” said Bevin.
So far, out of the 406 inmates asked to participate, only 12 chose not to take part. The governor and the rest the team feel that Kentucky is a great place for this as there are nearly 24,000 individuals incarcerated in the Commonwealth and Kentucky also has more children impacted as a byproduct than any other state.
Those participating receive pre-release services and a one-on-one mentor. The team’s plan is to track inmates for a year-and-a-half after they get out to ensure the program is effective.
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