Ex Prisoners Face Uphill Battle in Becoming Contributing Members of Society

Helping men and women deal with life after incarceration is the focus of a Houston summit presented by the Harvest Life Foundation. Houston Public Radio’s Pat Hernandez says the organization hopes to remove the stigma associated with prisoner reentry.

The Harvest Life Foundation is an agency that provides services to men and
women who are formerly incarcerated in the form of housing, workforce
development and everything in between. President Melanie Wilcox Miles says
Houston is not unique to the nationwide problem of prisoner reentry.

“Everyone feels that there’s a need for us to really address these issues around men
and women that are returning to our community. I mean, if you have over 15,000
men and women returning just from prison, that’s not including county jails, every year
into the Houston community, and you don’t provide them with a means for employment
and decent housing and transportation to jobs, training, then what are they left with?”

Steven Williams, director of Houston’s Health and Human Services Department says the summit is an excellent way to address the problem and give those formerly incarcerated the best possible chance to succeed & be contributing members of society.

“I’m hoping that a number of organizations and entities that participated in this summit will
learn to pull our resources and efforts to have a more comprehensive approach to this

All agree that if training is not afforded to those leaving incarceration and become successful, law abiding self sufficient citizens, then those charged with providing that help are only adding to the crime problem.

Pat Hernandez, Houston Public Radio News.