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After a three-judge court panel ordered California to cut the prison population by roughly 40,000 prisoners, local and state lawmakers ran to protect public safety. What did that mean? Barring formerly incarcerated people from coming home and entering rehabilitation programs.

Leticia Miranda investigates the effects of taking resources away from rehabilitation programs for people inside and outside of prison through the story of Michelle Freeman who managed to transform her life with the help of a local San Bernardino organization. From the article:

But as Freeman now approaches her four-year anniversary of sober living outside of prison, San Bernardino is enacting a city ordinance barring the establishment of new transitional homes for parolees, probationers and sex offenders.

“We can’t feed our families. We can’t get a job. Without the establishment of new group homes, what are we going to do?” asks Freeman, now project coordinator and health policy advocate with A Time for Change.

San Bernardino’s ordinance comes as a federal court has ordered California to devise a plan to reduce prison crowding. As a result, prisons may soon be releasing more people from the system even as the state threatens to cut back the very programs former inmates need to stay out of prison.

Read the rest of the story here at ColorLines.com.

Read this online at http://colorlines.com/archives/2009/11/the_right_to_live_again.html


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