Grant gives ex-cons a second chance - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Grant gives ex-cons a second chance


by Patrick Manning

SCHOFIELD (WAOW) -- Often times those released from prison fall into their old habits and end up back behind bars.

"A number of released correctional clients at times do tend to commit new offenses and as a consequence can be returned to incarceration," says Paula Stoudt, regional supervisor for ATTIC Correctional Services, Inc.

ATTIC is contracted with Marathon County. Now ATTIC and Marathon County will be able to serve much more.

It's all thanks to a $200,000 federal grant.

 "Our goal with this program is to actually enhance that beginning when the client is still incarcerated and hope to carry that through upon release into the community, " says Stoudt.

 The program works by providing employment services housing, and even matches them up with a volunteer mentor to build skills they likely lost in prison.

 "Typically what we see is they don't have a good support system, they have some of their old peers that they got into trouble with, they may not have pro-social housing to go back to. They don't have skills to search for a job," says Laurie Yarie, justice system coordinator for Marathon County.

 And a job ATTIC leaders say is the best way to keep a convicted felon out of trouble.

 "Employment is very crucial, to those who are coming out of jail and incarceration. Having employment, then will give you housing, health care, and community," says Britt Hoflsien, employment specialist.

 And it's hoped that this help from the community will make them less likely to end back in jail.

Online Reporter: Patrick Manning


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