Two Vincentians: Timothy Lyons, C.M., and Laura Ford, are involved in a process of restoring lives through recycling electronics.
PAR-Recycle Works, a nonprofit organization that responsibly recycles electronic waste, is helping to restore ex-offenders lives by providing them with job training and employment.
Chestnut Hill resident Laura Ford, 66, has worked in prison ministry and helped develop and run reintegration programs for formerly incarcerated men and women for almost 20 years.
“PAR- [People Advancing Reintegration] Recycle Works believes that one of the best crime deterrents is a job. Participants in this program go from costing society thousands of dollars a year to contributing to society.”
According to a report entitled “The Price of Prisons: What Incarceration Costs Taxpayers” conducted by the Vera Institute of Justice and the Pew Center on the States, the Pennsylvania Department of Correction spends roughly $1.6 billion in prison expenditures annually.
The report stated that Pennsylvania incurs an “average annual cost of $42,339” for each inmate.
Ford, who is the PAR-Recycle treasurer, said it is very hard for ex-offenders to find steady, full-time employment. She said thousands of people return from prison to the community every day.
“Recidivism is a huge problem for the whole community,” she said. “It’s everybody’s issue. It’s not just their issue.”
Help them out here.