Coalition can be tool to solve the recidivism riddle

The cycle of repeating crime and incarceration makes our community and any other community unsafe and prone to prison population problems.

Solving the problem of recidivism would go a long way toward solving much of the violence, drug and crime problems of the City of Williamsport, Lycoming County and the entire region.

A new coalition made up of community stakeholders met for the first time last week to begin developing a plan for the successful reintegration of criminal offenders back into society.

This is important work and no easy task.

For people to leave prison with a strong possibility of not returning, they need to have a place to live and a job to go to.

This can only be accomplished if their time in incarceration is spent in part on creating the kind of legitimate transition connections that will make housing and employment more likely once they are released.

Our hope would be that this very capable coalition focus on how those transition connections are created – job training, personal finances training, probation officers who can testify to clear rehabilitation by an inmate. Without those things, it’s hard to expect a landlord to want to provide housing or an employer to approve a hiring.

We hope this coalition is the tool that makes those things possible.