It lists organizations which provide assistance with housing, jobs & addiction counseling.
Baltimore, Md. (KM) It’s not easy re-entering society after spending time in prison. But there are organizations which can help ex-offenders.
While many people can get this information from their parole or probation officers, US Attorney for Maryland Rod Rosenstein says that avenue is often not available if these ex-offenders have graduated out of parole and probation. He says his office has published a list of 1350 government and private sector agencies in Maryland which can help. “These resources include links to places that provide housing, job training, counseling, job search advice, crisis intervention, all sorts of services that may be of use to people returning from prison,” says Rosenstein.
He says these agencies are listed by county. “For example, if you go to that page and click on Frederick County, you’ll pull up a list with, I think, over 150 different providers who provide services in Frederick County,” he says. “Some of them are located in Frederick County. Some of them are statewide or national organizations that you can contact and will have a local referral for you.”
The US Attorney for Maryland’s web address is www.justice.gov/usao/md.
Rosenstein says once the ex-offenders contact these organizations, the rest is up to them. “Frankly, we don’t want people to have excuses. When you come out of prison, we know you face hurdles and challenges,” he says. “But there are people who succeed. And there are opportunities and resources and programs out there to help people succeed. We want an essentially a one-stop-shop where people, if find their way to this website, they’re going to be to find in their community dozens of providers who are available to help.”
He also says it’s much less expensive for an ex-offender to go straight. “For the ones that succeed, everybody that we can prevent from going back to prison, we’ve saved a life; maybe more lives. And we’ve saved a lot of money by keeping somebody out in the community rather than warehousing them in a prison,” he says.
Rosenstein also says providing this service is part of the mission of the US Attorney’s Office. “Our goal as prosecutors is to promote public safety. We’re about reducing crime, not just sending people to prison,” he says.
By Kevin McManus