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Ex-offender program approved of by Attorney General Holder

Maryland residents may be interested to note that Attorney General Eric Holder, the top law enforcement officer in the government, has taken a special interest in the lives of ex-offenders this week. In August, Holder launched a new program called "Smart on Crime," meant to ease the long-term consequences of those convicted of crimes. A decrease of long prison sentences for some drug crimes and a program to allow for the release of elderly prisoners are among the aims of the program.

Holder attended a court session in which men on supervised release reported to their judge, where he learned of some of the personal problems these men face after serving their sentences. One of the common issues regards finding housing and employment with their ex-offender status. He also heard examples of how these men are succeeding with the help of vocational training.

Programs like this one are meant to ease the transition leaving prison for those who are convicted of their crimes. Unfortunately, re-assimilation can be a challenge due to the stigma of 'ex-cons,' but hopefully programs will help to give hope to those who have served their debt to society.

For those who are convicted of crimes, jail time can be just the start of the long-term consequences. Privileges that once were not even thought of, such as driving and finding a job, may be lost. Often, felony convictions lead to these types of consequences. For misdemeanors, like simple assault or disorderly conduct, jail time and fines may be the penalties. By consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney, those who are charged with misdemeanors or felonies can determine what course of action is best for their defense -- and for their future.

Source: The Daily Record, "Seeking answers, Holder sees ex-offender program that is working" No author given, Nov. 05, 2013

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