It was encouraging to receive emails and phone calls this morning that continued the conversations of this past weekend's summit. As I looked at some emails "cc" list throughout the morning, it became even more apparent that a Green direction is a progressive direction.
The new Green economy has an inclusion goal in support of societal re-entry of ex-offenders. This is encouraging considering nationally 1700 prisoners are released from prison daily, and many will return within three years for the same offense. Governor Corzine, the Victoria Foundation and other national organizations recently awarded $5 million to Newark in support of Operation Reconnect, Ready4Work and other city based reentry programs.
Some concerned citizens argue that this is a wasted effort considering the current state deficit and statistical risk. I argue, we can't afford to let a large populous of unskilled citizens tax citizen funded resources as prisoners, or negatively impact the quality of life when released.
The Green initiative as expressed by Elizabeth Reynoso, Coordinator of Planning & Community Partnerships for the Institute of Social Justice, will provide cutting edge Green training in the emerging, insurance baring, workforce fields such as horticulture and sustainable building construction. Under the new funding allotment, ex-offenders will have a real chance to reconstruct their lives and become productive members of society.
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