Letter to the Editor: Dynamic Risk Factors for Reentry, Citizen Support of LD 178, Reinstatement of Parole

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Crime, violence, civil strife and other disruptive behaviors are on the minds of citizens. As observed, the interruption of normal life and substantial cost affects all people in terms of time, finance, damage, fear, frustration, and chaos. Why do some simply ignore the peace and calm of a society that flourishes on opportunity?

For the reasons provided and the exasperation of selfish acts that lack empathy for others, the necessity of change is possible. Crime, violence, victimization, and other maladies exist because of poor policy, failure to enact positive change, and steps that are successful in that process. Many public and private agencies are instructed not to engage of lack alternatives, resulting in a travesty of major proportions. Rationale, open or closed, when hidden, creates doubt. Excuses are mundane and seek to justify, which is meaningless hyperbole to positive change outcomes.

When the justice system functions as intended, problems reduce, individuals benefit from positive influence, and opportunities emerge. As an example, the Maine State Prison has life-changing programs and education programs. Those who benefit signal from the beginning of improved quality of life. For the reasons given, the focus should be positive change, the reduction of aberrant behavior, and improvement of quality of life for all people. It begins at birth and runs parallel to human life.

A study by the Harvard University Institute of Politics, Criminal Justice Policy Group (2019) “Successful Reentry: A Community-Level Analysis” provides detailed risk factors for reentry and successful institution interventions. The focus is not on rehashing punishment, but on ways to change attitudes, behavior, and the future as a contributing citizen. It provides positive steps moving someone convicted of a crime positively. Society often cannot consider the criminal justice system to be paid entirely by citizens, starting a reduction in recidivism. Positive action will make a difference!

Contained in the report are the following Dynamic Risk Factors for Reentry:
– Health
– Employment
– Housing
– Skill Development
– Mentorship
– Social Networks
– Organization Type

Read the Harvard report. It offers alternative ways of thinking that detail successful change to reduce incidence and cost. “The following report details how various factors significantly affect successful reentry, how existing community-based organizations tailor interventions to address those factors and provide recommendations for ‘best practices’ community-based reentry programs can follow.” (Harvard, 2019)

This is forward thinking, a change, and why not.

Citizen support of LD 178, the effort to reestablish parole in Maine, requires understanding and support. If this bill is accomplished with attentive sincerity, it offers a renewed pathway to address and remove negative influences on positive change in how a person conducts their life. In LD 178 lies the potential for positive change.

If passed, the ‘known to help’ programs must accompany parole, or the potential for success diminishes exponentially!

Change has many outcomes and emerges from thoughtful engagement.

Richard Lumb, Ph.D.
Wilton, Maine


Opinion pieces reflect the views of the individual author, and do not reflect the views of the Daily Bulldog, Mt. Blue TV, or Central Maine Media Alliance. Publication of an opinion piece does not equate to endorsement of the content of the piece.

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