Work for convicts could help
On Feb. 27, the Rutland Herald reported that a 37-year-old St. Johnsbury man had pleaded guilty to assault and other charges committed in 2012. He was sentenced to at least two years in prison, with a maximum sentence of life for having escaped in 2010. “With a life sentence hanging over his head indefinitely, this should deter Mr. Mahoney from engaging in any further criminal conduct,” said Caledonia County State’s Attorney Lisa Warren.
I have been noticing a dramatic increase in the rate of crime in our area lately — especially armed robbery. Robbery has typically been a male’s crime, but some are now suspected of having been committed by at least one female. These are the actions of desperate people in our hard economic times.
But can this trend be reversed? Once a person has any kind of criminal record, very few employers are willing to take a chance on hiring them. Without employment, these people end up returning to crime again and again, merely to survive.
It occurs to me that if community- or state-run manufacturing companies were to be established that cater to giving employment to people with criminal records, this could redirect energy from illegal activities and incarceration to positive, productive lives.