September 11, 2009


Goal is to reduce prison recidivism

FREDERICK, MD - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today visited Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley, Inc. in Frederick for a tour of its program that provides re-entry services to prisoners.   The Senator, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has supported legislation to provide counseling and job training to prisoners who are close to release as a way to reduce recidivism.


"The Department of Justice has found that approximately two-thirds of those released from prison recidivate within three years ," said Senator Cardin.   "We need to reduce that number and Goodwill succeeded in working with prisoners and former inmates to get them the skills and job training they need to become productive members of our society."


Goodwill Industries, in partnership with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, has expanded job retention and transitional services in an effort to reduce Frederick County's prison recidivism rate, which was 51.7 percent in 2008.   Goodwill is providing computer training and life skills workshops to 130 inmates at the Work Release Center.  


In response to the nation's alarming incarceration and recidivism rate, in 2007 Senator Cardin co-sponsored the Second Chance Act , which was enacted into law.   The law provides increased funding to coordinate re-entry services by federal agencies.   It also authorized $330 million in federal funding in FY 2009 and FY 2010 for state and federal re-entry programs.