Kansas spends over $300 million per year on the incarceration of some 15,000 inmates in county and state prisons, and it boasts a recidivism rate of around 43% (on par with the national average). According to Right On Crime supporter Pat Nolan, Governor Sam Brownback has decided that the national average is not good enough for Kansas, and he is tackling recidivism head on.
For Gov. Brownback, lower recidivism means a safer society and lower spending. In pursuit of those goals, Brownback has partnered with Nolan’s organization, Prison Fellowship, to sponsor “a statewide effort that will bring together more than 250 businesses, nonprofit organizations, churches and other community groups.” The new program, dubbed “Out4Life” will focus on building local coalitions to help parolees re-enter society. These groups will help to match ex-convicts with housing, transportation, medical care, and church communities. According to Nolan, “a top priority for the coalitions will be to match inmates with mentors who will hold the offenders accountable while also providing practical advice. Many of the offenders have never had an adult they can trust and look up to.”
Does this partnership guarantee success? Nolan himself said, “That is unlikely. But we can make a difference in the lives of those who want to change. And that will make communities safer and better.”