Life skills

August 22, 2008

I guess I’ve had a naive idea about what “work release” involves. An offender isn’t violent and is a good risk, so they let him ot of jail to work — still getting a paycheck, perhaps even repaying whomever he victimized — and he comes back to jail every night until his sentence is served. But why leave it at that when a bunch of government geniuses can improve on the concept?

The public can see the new Hendricks County work release center Friday.

An open house at the new facility will be at 1:30 p.m., featuring a dedication ceremony and tours. The center is on the site of the former Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds in Danville.

The $4.6 million, 30,000-square-foot center was built to relieve jail crowding. The Hendricks County Jail has capacity for 250 inmates, a number that jail officials say has been surpassed often in recent months.

But, hey, there’s an open house so taxpayers can go see how their $4.6 million was spent on “life skills needed to help” the inmates “succeed after they’re released.” Is obeying the the law a life skill?


3 Responses to “Life skills”

  1. Bob G. Says:

    “Is obeying the the law a life skill?”
    Perhaps not (per se), but it does make a damn good prerequisite for staying OUT of that $4.6 mil facility, doesn’t it?



  2. tim zank Says:

    I prefer Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s (Maricopa County AZ) tent and pink undies for about $100,000. Much more efficient and every bit as effective. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

  3. Doug Says:

    Penny-wise, pound foolish. I can’t say that the Hendricks County work release program is spending money wisely. But if you just lock a guy up for a period of time and dump him back into the street, there is going to be an awful lot of recidivism.

    Something about his background, skill set, impulse control, and approaches to problem solving led him to commit a crime in the first place. Dumping him back into society with the same basic problems on top of a criminal record and a bunch of court/probation/restitution fees on the negative side of the scale isn’t terribly likely to be balanced out just with fear of incarceration added to the positive side of the scale.

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