Thursday meeting to help ex-prisoners find jobs - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Thursday meeting to help ex-prisoners find jobs, increase safety

Albany District Chief Parole Officer Leslie Lamb Albany District Chief Parole Officer Leslie Lamb
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

State parole officials say only 36 percent of the released offenders in Albany have jobs, and improving that number will improve public safety.

When an inmate is released from prison, he's much more likely to stay out if he finds a job.

"Albany has the highest unemployment rate for my offenders, parolees," said Albany District Chief Parole Officer Leslie Lamb. "And I'm talking about just parole, right now of any other district in this part of the state."

State pardon and parole officials want to meet with business leaders about providing jobs for offenders coming out of prison and jail.

Studies show that unemployment among parolees is one of the biggest factors in recidivism, or the tendency to relapse into criminal behavior. That's why the Georgia Prisoner ReEntry Initiative is holding a community meeting in Albany Thursday at Darton College.

"That's going to directly relate to public safety," said Lamb. "If people are at work all day, and earning a decent wage and doing something that's positive, they don't have the time or desire to go out and commit new crimes. It is very much a public safety issue."

State parole officials are asking Albany business owners and community leaders to give parolees an opportunity for a job, and say that chance will not only give them good employees, but also cut crime and help the city.

The Georgia Prisoner ReEntry Initiative will hold their community meeting Thursday starting at 10 a.m. at the Darton College Theatre and will be there throughout the day.

Georgia Prisoner ReEntry Initiative
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Begins at 10 a.m.
Darton College Theatre

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