FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact
Carol Peeples, Re-entry Coordinator
CCJRC undertook the study of 48 homeless men and women on parole after shelter providers voiced concerns about the rising number of homeless parolees.
“This report is vital in showing the changes and challenges that need to be addressed to ensure that parolees are successful with employment and re-entry to their communities, thus reducing costs to the taxpayer,” said Deborah Ortega, Regional Services Director for Denver Human Services.
The CCJRC report found a 71% unemployment rate for the parolees interviewed. “Besides trying to find a job, parolees also struggled to find clothes, get their ID, get to parole meetings and classes, get tested for drugs, etc. And they do it all by bus,” said Carol Peeples, Re-entry Coordinator for CCJRC and the report’s author.
Some parolees described being frightened or overwhelmed. “You know when you take a cat out and dump it off?” said one parolee. “That’s what you feel like. You’re scared. ” Another parolee said, “No doors open to people. I shave, I shower every day. Still, people look at you like you’re a bucket of slime. I used to be a strong person. That’s all gone.”
“With the state looking to save money in corrections, people should start looking pretty closely at how hard it is to start over after getting out of prison, especially if you’re homeless,” said Peeples. “We are churning people back into our prisons at an untenable rate.” During fiscal year 2008, 3,353 people admitted to
“Homelessness and Parole: A Survey of Denver’s Shelters” is the most recent report from CCJRC, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce the rate of incarceration in
The full report is attached to this press release. It is also available online at www.ccjrc.org.