Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Government Program Has Opposite Effect

As happens sometimes, traditional service-based rehabilitation/reentry programs often actually make the problem worse, as we have posted on before.

In this case, a reentry housing program costing more money than the program it replaced, as reported by the Austin Statesman.

An excerpt.

“As Texas prison programs go, this one was tiny. Just a few hundred ex-cons would be eligible for housing vouchers those who had been approved for parole but were stuck behind bars because they had no place to live, either because their families didn't want them or they had no place to go.

“It was also supposed to save taxpayers money, since the housing would cost less than a $47-a-day prison bed.

“Instead, state records show, the 8-month-old Temporary Housing Assistance Program appears to have accomplished just the opposite. In some cases, parolees have been moved into state-rented homes from less expensive halfway houses.

“The author of the law that created the program says parolees have been moved into single-family neighborhoods, several ex-convicts have been placed together in a single house, and Texas' larger cities are getting the bulk of the renters even though those cities have halfway houses that could be used instead — all things he says he never intended.”