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Fitzy: Hire Felons To Fight Crime

By Marcus Gilmer in News on May 22, 2009 7:30PM

U.S. Atty Patrick Fitzgerald
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald told attendees at the City Club of Chicago yesterday that hiring felons was a way to help fight crime. Promoting the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, which helps find paroled ex-cons jobs, Fitzgerald pointed out that participants in such corporate programs are less likely to return to jail. According to the Sun-Times' Natasha Korecki:

Fitzgerald said research has shown that parolees who have attended a one-hour forum held by Project Safe Neighborhoods are 30 percent less likely to return to jail. The forum gives parolees job options and warns them that they'll be thrown back in prison if they cross the line.

While there are felons who don't want to return to the gang life, Fitzgerald said, they're released back into a neighborhood lacking infrastructure and support. They see no other opportunities, he said. "When they got there, they tried to open the door, and it was locked," he said.

Fitzgerald specifically urged participation in some of the city's poorer neighborhoods like Englewood, Back of the Yards or North Lawndale.