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Ohio officials meet to discuss reducing prisoner recidivism rates
Cuyahoga County releases 5,000 prisoners back into society each year; today's conference will focus on how to help them stay out 
by WKSU's MARANDA SHREWSBERRY


Reporter
Maranda Shrewsberry
 

Hundreds of police officers, social workers, politicians and other officials are meeting in Cleveland today (Monday) to try to figure out better ways to keep people from returning to prison.

About a third of Ohioans released from prison will return within three years.  Though that’s the smallest rate in the last decade, U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach says those coming home still face significant problems.

Dettelbach says he wants to help people make the right choice.

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“That problem of getting a job, to getting social services if they need them, to sometimes needing psychological help, to dealing with the problems that may still exist which cause them in some cases to make the bad decisions that put them in jail in the first place," he says. "Look, we can’t make choices for people. What we can do is give people the opportunity to make the right choice themselves.”

 

In the past three years, the Department of Justice has given Ohio 10-million dollars in grants under the Second Chance Act. Dettelbach says Northern Ohio needs to use the money to better reduce recidivism rates.

 
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