BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new push from the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s office wants to help ex-offenders from ending up back in prison.
It’s a problem that’s been a struggle to address nationwide. Those who have spent time behind bars struggle to get the help they need once they’re out.
Repeat offenders fall into the cycle of committing crimes yet again and finding their way back to prison.
“If you want to do the right thing, we’re going to do what we can to provide opportunities,” says Maryland US Attorney Rod Rosenstein.
On Wednesday, the US Attorney’s office announced funding from the Justice Department to devote efforts to prevention and re-entry.
“To preventing people from becoming criminals in the first place and to helping people who have committed crimes how to re-enter society,” says Rosenstein.
With programs listed in each jurisdiction nationwide, the number of those who return to jail is at 68 percent, while Maryland as a whole, is at 40 percent.
Those who’ve spent years behind bars say when they finally get out, the number one thing they’re searching for is an opportunity — but sometimes, there’s nowhere to turn.
Former convict Gerald Sessions is a member of Baltimore’s Mi Casa Es Su Casa (Spanish for “My House is Your House”) program.
The program helped turn his life around after years in jail.
“When you’re in prison, they don’t give you the resources to come back and be prepared for society,” says Sessions.
“I was incarcerated for 23 years for robbery, I had a 42-year sentence,” says Sessions.
A golden opportunity he hopes others and will now be able to take advantage of.
“I feel like my life is going in a positive direction,” says Sessions.
One reason why they made this announcement on Wednesday is because of the amount of openings in each of these programs across the state
Officials want to make sure the public knows help is out there for those looking to get back on their feet.