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In the News: Early Prison Release Will Test Drug Groups, Re-entry Groups
NIC News & Updates


This recent Associated Press article, “Early Prison Release Will Test Drug Felons, Re-entry Groups,” highlights the story of Myrna Suren, soon to be released after 25 years in prison, and describes the challenges for thousands of inmates returning to the community.

From the article:

  • Over 6000 drug felons are set for release around Nov. 1 as part of a national effort to reduce sentences deemed to be overly harsh — and expensive — drug laws enacted during the era's "War on Drugs."
  • One of those being released, Myrna Suren was sent off to serve a life sentence for drug trafficking in 1990. She was 41 years old. Now 67 and a great-grandmother, Suren will soon leave the federal prison in downtown Philadelphia where she has spent over 25 years.
  • "Some are coming out after three years, some after 20," said Elizabeth Toplin, a federal public defender who reviewed about 800 drug cases in the Philadelphia region. "It's a different world. These guys come out of jail and they've never seen a cellphone. ... Unless we intervene properly, when people come home, they just don't have the resources not to go back."
  • In Philadelphia, five or 10 people of the 45 getting early release will be tapped for an intensive probation program for at-risk offenders known as Re-Entry Court. The program — which says it has cut recidivism in half, to about 20 percent of the nearly 240 participants in the past five years — offers a broad array of social services, including counseling, tutoring, housing, health care and job training, most provided by volunteers.

Read the full article


For additional resources go to NIC’s Offender Reentry/Transition.

Posted Mon, Oct 26 2015 8:41 AM by Susan Powell
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