About 66 percent of the people who spend time in jail commit another crime within six months of their supervised release.
That's a discouraging statistic.
It costs a lot of money for society to punish people with jail time. It costs even more money to put people back in jail again and again.
And for every crime there is a victim, sometimes very obviously, sometimes very subtely.
We can throw up our hands and keep paying the bill and suffering the anguish of crime committed and crime repeated. And we can watch the lives of those committing those crimes wasted.
Or we can do what the U.S. Middle District court is doing. The court is sponsoring the Court-Assisted Re-Entry Program which pairs released people with volunteer mentors who assist them in the difficult task of reconnecting with the world when they get out of prison.
It's not an easy connection to make. The easier connection is to return to the network of crime these people are more acquainted with.
The mentoring can lead to completing an educational degree or, hopefully, getting a productive job, the greatest weapon against repeat offending.
The district court recently presented a program regarding CARE to the Williamsport Rotary Club and recruited a team of volunteers to serve as mentors.
This is solid work by the district court that we would encourage others to get involved in. If we want to see the cycle of crime broken for the good of both those in the criminal system and society as a whole, we've all got to do our part to help make that happen.