Letters to the Editor (March 2008)

Remember Crime Victims

I read with interest your article about offender reentry ["Conference Examines Prisoner Reentry," February]. I do believe that communities and social workers must get on board to assist in the safe and successful reentry of released offenders, but you seem to have forgotten about the innocent victims of these offenders' crimes.

When we talk about offender reentry, one of the points we must consider is making sure that we are providing services and safety to the offenders' victims. If victims and victim-service providers are not at the table, we are not serving anybody well.

I have spent over 33 years in corrections — 14 years as a correctional officer and 19 years as a victim-service provider in a large state correctional agency — and I have noticed that victims want only to feel as though they are a part of the system, and they want to feel safe.

In any future meetings and conferences, please include victims and victim-service providers, so that all will have a stake in the success of offender reentry programs.

Mark A. Lazarus, LCSW
Tallahassee, Fla.