MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. (June 20, 2014) — With the issue of repeat offenders in Michigan’s prisons, millions of dollars are being funneled into Muskegon County from the federal government. The goal is to help convicted criminals get back on their feet instead of getting caught in the cycle of the judicial system.
“70x 7 Life Recovery” in Holland will expand its program with a $2,000,000 grant that has been awarded.
The new program will work with Muskegon County law enforcement. Convicted felons who have young children and military veterans will have first priority in the new program that will place them on probation while they work with the group to find a job. The organization said that this will help lower prison housing costs in the state.
Clarence Robinson went through Holland’s program. He said that growing up in Muskegon Heights it was easy to live a life of drugs and voilence.
Robinson said that he had gone on 495 interviews before reaching out to the program.
Robinson said that he went in and out of prison for over a decade. He said that suffering from addiction, all he knew was a life on the streets.
“When you get out, they say well you can go home now. To what? You say don’t go rob and steal, but you don’t give me anything else to do,” said Robinson.
Getting his feet back on the ground was harder than he thought it would be. He was looking for a way to be financially independent without breaking the law.
“I believe from looking at the employer’s point of view, it’s a gamble and a lot of people don’t like to gamble,” said Robinson.
Robinson said when he applied for jobs, employers laughed him out of the room when looking at his extensive criminal past.
Robinson said that “70x 7 Life Recovery” helped convince his employer to give him a chance. He now mentors at risk teens in Muskegon Heights.
The Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office and the Michigan Department of Corrections will collaborate on the new extiontion of “70x 7 Life Recovery” in Muskegon County.