prison

Melissa Huffman is clearly an in-demand person. Her body is covered in buzzers and bells; several sounds are emanating from her person at this very moment. Even so, she pauses to shake my hand as she bustles through the lobby. “This place matters,” she tells me gravely, before rushing off to take a call.

The place is RecycleForce, an Indianapolis-based recycling plant that employs recently incarcerated men and women for 120-day rotations as they transition back into community life. By giving the newly released a real job in a structured, programmatic environment, RecycleForce tries to help them develop the skills and life habits they need to make it on the outside. It’s one of a whole network of organizations devoted to “re-entry”: helping former criminal offenders get their lives on track.

Huffman once came through RecycleForce’s re-entry program. Now she works as their shipping and receiving manager, and is obviously integral to the organization.

Why Re-Entry Matters

April 24-30 was National Re-Entry Week, highlighted by the Obama administration as an occasion for discussing the re-entry challenges for former offenders. If you weren’t aware of this gala occasion, you’re forgiven. Conservative organizations don’t normally seize their talking points from Barack Obama’s White House (Although the American Enterprise Institute hosted a very interesting colloquium on the topic, now available for streaming.)

Read more at The Federalist.

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