Judge looking to help ease inmates' transition back to society
Judge Joseph Williams planning to use county jail’s oversight board to help inmates find a place in the community.
March 3, 2016 5:57 PM
Judge Joseph Williams
By Rich Lord / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The judge who now leads the Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board said today that he plans to focus that panel for the next six months on improving efforts to smoothly transition inmates back to society.
Common Pleas Judge Joseph Williams noted at a board meeting that even a short jail stint can cost someone their job and home.
"When people come out of the jail, if they don't have some skill or something they can do to regain dignity, the chances of them coming back are greater," he said.
The jail's current population is 2,115, said Warden Orlando Harper. It had long hovered around 2,500, but efforts to keep probation violators from languishing in jail have lowered the inmate count.
Judge Williams said there are still not effective programs for smoothing the transition from cell to society. He said he hopes to reach out to faith-based organizations, unions schools and employers.
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