Law enforcement group expresses concern over DOJ early release of 6,000 drug offenders

MGN Online

One of America's largest law enforcement groups is speaking out against the Department of Justice's announcement that 6 thousand prisoners will be released early, due to overcrowded prisons.

According to The Washington Post, which first reported the announcement, the largest number of inmates, approximately 578, will be released from Texas facilities.

The six-thousand people scheduled for release will see freedom between late October and early November.

Reportedly two-thirds of those released will go to half-way houses. That raises concerns for one of America's largest law enforcement groups.

"When you look at the halfway house community in the law enforcement world, there's serious questions about whether there's an ability to absorb this many people this quickly" said Jonathan Thompson, executive director of the National Sheriff's Association.

Research from the Pennsylvania State Department of Corrections found halfway houses with mixed records of successfully returning former prisoners back into society.

Kiminori Nakamura, an assistant professor of criminology at the University of Maryland, said "about two-thirds, 67.68% of inmates released from prisons get re-arrested within three years, and about half of them return to prison."

Nakamura, one of the authors of the study, said she was stunned to discover former prisoners at halfway houses returned to a life of crime at higher rates than those paroled directly from prison to the street; at 61% the group did marginally better with re-arrest rates than that of their halfway home counterparts.

Thompson said this has left his group uneasy.

"So let's let 6,000 people this year and another several thousand next year go from prison. Let's find out what's going to happen and then we will get back to you."

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