Community corrections is working well here
How and when we reintroduce inmates of correctional institutions to our society is always a touchy subject.
But the fact of the matter is that people we place under lock and key for months and years normally do not just go away. And at some point, they will be walking the streets again, free to either return to their lives of crime or choose the straight and narrow path the rest of us follow.
So some thought always has to be given to that question of how and when. Unfortunately, the problem of prison overcrowding and the expense of housing inmates often eliminates some of the sober reflection we'd like to be a part of that process.
Of course, what the person did to be put away in the first place always makes a huge difference. But in the case of non-violent offenders, the method being used by the Community Corrections Program here in Escambia County, and other similar programs around the state, is a good one. Taking only non-violent offenders, the program allows inmates to live and work under a sort of house arrest, which is closely monitored.
It is a way to ease these people back into the community, and at the same time take some of the burden off of our bursting-at-the-seams jails and prisons. The program has so far functioned as a good example of creativity in the face of a problem, mixed with the correct amount of sound judgement.