New program to help released prisoners

Lansing, MI – A conference in Lansing this week is focused on helping ex-convicts adjust to life outside prison. Every year, thousands of men and women are released from Michigan prisons. Many of them will end up back in prison within three years.

The conference marks the launch of a program to make it easier for ex-prisoners to find a job and a place to live and become a stable member of their community. Prison Fellowship, a faith-based group, sponsors the program. Executive Director Mary Engle says their aim is to work with existing programs, such as the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative, "And the best way to do that is identify resources within the community and have them networking together. So, it's an opportunity then to develop an even stronger net for those individuals so that they don't slip through the cracks."

Engle says it's critical for ex-prisoners to have a mentor who can help them stay out of trouble.