After reading the Sun Journal article about Maine children having a parent in jail (April 26), I was taken back at the high number of children reported (20,000). The article mentioned what the Department of Corrections is doing to help mothers connect with their children while they are incarcerated, but the bigger question is what are people doing as a community to support these individuals once they are released.

Individuals who go back into the environments they came from will most likely fall into the same traps that got them incarcerated in the first place. The Bureau of Justice found that about two-thirds of individuals released from jail would most likely be arrested for a new crime within three years of being released.

That statistic shows a need for more programs and support for those individuals to help transition from being incarcerated to being back in society.

Jail is a highly structured environment. Individuals are provided clothing, a bed, and food. In society those things are not guaranteed. People may not have a place to live, food to eat or more clothes than what is on their back. Many times those individuals are lacking supportive families or friends, meaning they turn to what they know.

The question is — how do we help those people? What can we do, as a community, to keep people from being incarcerated again?

Megan Latour, Lewiston

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