Cait Boyce is a finisher

It was a career highlight to have been asked by friend and author Vince Font to edit the book American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman. It was a wild ride through a story told by three distinct voices that covered over 30 years of Christopher Boyce’s and Cait Boyce’s lives. While we know a great deal of Cait’s experiences from the book, there are aspects of her life work that deserve closer attention. I’ve been very fortunate to get to know Cait since the book and below she shares thoughts about that work as we near her 60th birthday.

N.L.: On the eve of your 60th birthday, it’s astounding that you spent a third of your life fighting for the release of Christopher Boyce and Andrew Daulton Lee from prison! As you reflect on this milestone life marker, what drove you to keep going in light of so many obstacles?

C.B.: I’ve always been taught that we are more than the sum of our choices and decisions. When I involved myself in these cases, I had no clue what I was doing! Quite literally, everything I know about federal parole I learned on these two cases. As I became more involved with Daulton’s, then Chris’s cases, and with the parole system, I felt a deepening sense of distrust for the legal system and the way we incarcerate people. That’s not to say that I don’t believe in the “system” as a framework for justice—but what struck me was we lock people up with no view to the end of the sentence. I made a promise to them, but also made a promise to myself that I would see this through to the end—and the end wouldn’t happen until the last one walked free.

A lot of things have been said about me—some of which are not very pleasant to hear. But the one thing that even my biggest detractors seem to agree on is the fact that I am tenacious and immovable when my mind is made up. While not a compliment, it’s that level of tenacity that makes me keep my promises—no matter how far-fetched they seem to be. Freedom for Boyce and Lee, really? Is there a more improbable notion from someone in their 20s? Yeah, right. Here we are, 33 years later, and Chris is at home laying bricks for a new patio…

N.L.: Over the years, you’ve gained expertise in the field of prison reform. Would you talk about that?

C.B.: I’m not sure that I have an expertise, per se, but prison reform became a huge issue for me when I saw how prisoners were treated.

I hear a lot of people complain that “the system molly-coddles inmates.” The constant refrain of “if you can’t do the time…” and that’s been the mentality of the people running the prisons as well. But every man or woman who is sent to prison, for whatever the reason, must be guaranteed that they will survive it. A case in point is the State Prison at Corcoran, California, where guards shot and killed seven inmates in the first 10 years of operation, and within the first nine months of operation guards shot and wounded three inmates in eight weeks. The shootings were ruled justified on the claim of the guards that they were protecting an inmate or another guard, but during the subsequent Department of Justice inquiry, they locked down and there was a “code of silence.” Physical restraint and non‑lethal weapons (gas or rubber bullets) were not used to stop fights and in 2000, eight Corcoran guards were indicted for arranging prison gladiator fights for recreation.

In the case of Boyce and many other inmates, solitary confinement and no human contact were used rather than physical violence. Many prisoners who are put in solitary confinement will try to take control of their environment by engaging in self-destructive behaviors like beating themselves or refusing to eat. Depression, schizophrenia and paranoia are a few of the side effects. And to what end? Mental illness among inmates is raging out of control. A study done in 2006 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that over half of all jail and prison inmates have mental health issues; an estimated 1.25 million suffered from mental illness. The current 2014 projection is that people with mental illness are over-represented in the criminal justice system by rates of two to four times the normal population. These are some pretty depressing statistics for the richest nation in the free world and they get worse with each passing year.

With the onset of mandatory minimum sentencing after the passage of the Crime Control Act, we also saw 18-year-old kids and old people serving inordinate amounts of time for first-time convictions. Many of the drug possession charges carried MMs of 20 to 25 years even for the young first-time offender. This means simply that a lot of first-time offenders, who weren’t really ‘criminals’ by definition, will eventually be released to a society who doesn’t want them and can’t support them. They will receive no mental health help, no counseling or training, and nothing that will prepare them for ultimate release. Believe me—if that 18-year-old could have been saved all those years ago, he’s lost now. And he’s angry, uneducated, unemployed, and once he hits the streets he’s going to go back to the only thing he knew. Now we’ve really criminalized him.

N.L.: Do you see any positive or encouraging changes in the prison system to address some of these issues?

C.B.: Last week, the Department of Justice announced a change after years of demands. Clemency Project 2014, a working group composed of the Federal Defenders, the ACLU, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the American Bar Association, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has all moved forward to support change in the federal sentencing regulations and the Justice Department agrees on the plan to restore the integrity of the clemency process.

This is a terrific leg up for the men and women who have been locked down for years for non-violent offenses. It helps the aging prisoners and those that have already done more time than is humane. I’m testing this new-found vision by filing a clemency petition for one of my clients who has been locked down since 1983 for one count of espionage. He is now 80 years old and is routinely overlooked for parole. Let’s hope that now, at age 60, I’m still as tenacious as I was 33 years ago!

Writer/editor Nancy LaFever has been writing professionally for 10 years, crafting magazine articles, blogs, magazine profiles and copywriting for a diverse array of clients. In addition to her work on American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman, LaFever recently edited the sci-fi/young adult book, Madolix.

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Autographed paperback giveaway contest

A couple of months ago, we created the above image and put the word out to our Facebook followers to see who could come up with the coolest, most visually arresting (no pun intended) promotional image for American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman.

The competition was so stiff that we wound up choosing three winners: Paul Weston, Randy Meredith, and Frederick Wahl. All three received an autographed copy of American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman. Check out their submissions below.

The first came to us all the way from Down Under, courtesy the considerably creative grey matter of one Paul Weston (whose name was actually featured in the book dedication).

Randy Meredith’s promotional image below expertly blended photographs of the real Christopher Boyce and Andrew Daulton Lee with the iconic movie imagery. Spot on.

Frederick Wahl deftly anticipated the use of the photograph below for the redesigned second edition book cover, and created a compelling tag-line that summed up the overall theme of the book quite nicely.

Congratulations to all three gents on a job well done.

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The Falcon and the mountain lion

Written by Christopher Boyce

Like my long-dead ancestors beyond living memory, I enjoy an innate fear of lions. I love the terror they invoke in me. I suppose it is in my genes. The sight of mountain lions out in the wild lands causes my pulse to spike. Still, I treasure every encounter. To me, they are the ancient ones who made their way in this country long before humans took over. They are mostly hidden from us, but still dangerous and significant.

One morning last autumn, I bundled up and went walking down the Crooked River. It had been hot and dusty, but the previous night’s rain had made the trail damp, soft, and silent. There was no breeze and thus no man-scent to swirl about in the juniper woods.

Wearing sneakers, I stepped soundlessly down the trail, stopping often to look and listen. Above me, ravens caw-cawed from the great canyon cliffs. The river gurgled by in its pools and eddies. And then, abruptly, anxious deer barked not far ahead in a close meadow.

I froze so as not to spook them. The half-dozen bucks seemed ready to bolt. But as I studied them, I sensed I was not the cause of their alarm. They were not looking at me. Their eyes seemed unfocused, but their ears and nostrils twitched, all intent on listening and smelling. And so I did as they did. I unfocused my eyes and listened.

Seconds passed. Nothing moved. The ravens above me fell silent. All were watching. Something else was here.

From the corner of my eye, I awakened to the flicking of two small black triangles thirty feet beyond me in the brush. I looked intently, barely breathing. The black, flicking triangles became the fur on the back of two ears attached to the great head of a mountain lion.

He was enormous. He had been stalking the deer ahead and was now peering at them over the sage. He had not noticed my silent approach from behind, but there I was. Way too close. Breathless.

For several minutes, I watched him watching them. Every little while, the tip of his tail would tremble, causing my heart to quietly pound. I dared not move as I watched the mountain lion begin to inch slowly toward the bucks. Now I could see his entire body, stretched out from the jaws of his skull to the end of his long tail. This was a fully grown male lion, as big as they get.

He crossed over the trail in front of me in a crouch and crept up into the escarpment above without a sound. Like a ghost, he worked his way around the herd of deer to come upon them from the other side.

He had never seen me. I turned and walked quickly out of the canyon.

When I reached the top of the cliffs, I sat upon a stone seat fashioned by the ages. I marveled at all I had just witnessed and counted myself among the most fortunate of men. I had truly become free. I know now that freedom in this modern world is, at best, a fleeting thing. But at that moment, I felt what I believe is the greatest freedom of all: the freedom to be left alone.

There was a time when I was locked away for a quarter century in a hell on earth. Ten years of that was in solitary confinement. It was the longest of journeys, but somehow I survived the isolation and the chains. Today, I search for mountain lions in the granite cathedrals of the Crooked River Gorge. And I am free.

Christopher Boyce, the subject of the 1985 movie The Falcon and the Snowman, spent 25 years in prison for espionage. He is the co-author of the book American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman.

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The six degrees of Christopher Boyce

Fans of Kevin Bacon will be well familiar with a phenomenon dubbed The Oracle of Bacon. It’s a trivia game based on the “six degrees of separation” concept, where participants try to link anyone in the film industry to Kevin Bacon in six steps or less.

It’s a fun game to play, and a great time killer if you’ve got nothing better to do than focus on Kevin Bacon as “the center of the entertainment universe.” One day, while trying to link Bacon to Christopher Boyce (like you do) a thought occurred to me: Would it be possible to do the same, substituting Boyce for Bacon?

And so I tested it out – and discovered that, through the existence of the movie The Falcon and the Snowman, I was able to link Christopher Boyce to just about anyone.

Here’s one random example, linking Christopher Boyce to The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling.

  1. Rod Serling hosted Night Gallery, which starred actor Joel Grey in one episode.
  2. Grey co-starred with Fred Ward in the movie Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.
  3. Ward co-starred with (guess who?) Kevin Bacon in Tremors.
  4. Bacon co-starred with Sean Penn in Mystic River.
  5. Penn co-starred with Timothy Hutton in The Falcon and the Snowman.
  6. Hutton played Christopher Boyce in the same movie.

Blammo! From Rod Serling to Christopher Boyce in six steps.

Of course, taking the Kevin Bacon route made it easy since he’s worked with everyone in the known universe. So I decided to try it out again, this time omitting the Bacon altogether (an act that’s inadvisable if you’re talking about cooking up tasty dishes). I discovered an even simpler route existed.

  1. Rod Serling created The Twilight Zone.
  2. Actor Jim Hutton starred in one (fabulous) episode of The Twilight Zone.
  3. Hutton’s son is actor Timothy Hutton, who played Christopher Boyce in The Falcon and the Snowman.

As the connections began to come easier, I decided to test myself. What if I were to omit Timothy Hutton and the movie The Falcon and the Snowman altogether? Not such an easy task, you might think. But even that works well. This time, I decided on an even more random celebrity: Stevie Nicks, as suggested by my wife, Jane.

  1. Stevie Nicks appeared in American Horror Story: Coven.
  2. Coven also featured actor Danny Huston.
  3. Huston’s father, John Huston, directed Marlon Brando in Reflections in a Golden Eye.
  4. Brando’s autobiography, Songs My Mother Taught Me, was co-written with Robert Lindsey.
  5. Robert Lindsey was the author of book The Falcon and the Snowman.

I could go on. But there’s not much point playing a game when you’re the only participant. It’s your turn now. What other celebrities or even historical figures can you link to Christopher Boyce in six degrees or less? Leave your comments below!

Vince Font is the co-author and publisher of the book American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman, available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and elsewhere. Font also founded Glass Spider Publishing, an independent publisher serving underrepresented authors.

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The Falcon and the Surfer: A true story of love and espionage

All credit where it’s due. The title of this blog post comes courtesy the mind of reporter Bryan Denson, whose cover story for this Sunday’s edition of the Oregonian newspaper delivers some of the most comprehensive coverage to date of the life stories of Cait and Christopher Boyce – my accomplices in the writing of the book American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman.

Appearing in print today and also available online, Denson’s extensive feature is broken out into three pieces. The first article tells the story of how Cait, an inexperienced paralegal from San Diego with a penchant for weekend wave riding, found herself lobbying for the parole of two convicted spies known as the Falcon and the Snowman. The article also discusses her decades-long bout with cancer, as well as her relationship with Chris and his estranged ex-partner in crime, Andrew Daulton Lee.

In the second article, Chris offers his candid opinion on the controversial actions of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. “What I did was a destructive act,” Chris says in the interview. “I was an angry young man, and it was a one-man war – without making much sense – against the intelligence community. Snowden, on the other hand, I believe, is acting in the defense of civil liberties. And in a massive way.”

The third piece is a brief interview with little old me, wherein I reveal how my love for Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays’ soundtrack to The Falcon and the Snowman led to my involvement in the telling of this epic story.

Go here to read the full story online at The Oregonian.

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The Falcon Lands — an SBS Dateline TV feature

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On February 18, SBS Dateline aired a 28-minute feature interview with Christopher Boyce that examined his motives for selling U.S. intelligence information to the Soviet Union in the seventies. The interview was conducted by esteemed Australian TV journalist Mark Davis.

Click the video above to watch the full interview, which also mentions the book American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman and features some fabulous footage of Chris and his gyrfalcon, Higher Power. For more video and radio interviews with Christopher Boyce and Cait Boyce, visit the Interviews & Press section of our website.

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Cait Boyce radio interview

On November 30, radio host John Aberle interviewed Cait Boyce, co-author of the book American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman and the paralegal who worked for more than 20 years as an advocate for the parole of convicted spies Andrew Daulton Lee and Christopher Boyce.

The interview, which touches on a variety of topics ranging from life inside prison to the inequalities of the justice system, offers fascinating and illuminating insight from someone who has worked as a prisoner rights advocate for more than three decades. Originally broadcast live on WCHE 1520 AM in Philadelphia, the full interview is now available to hear online. Simply click the image above or follow this link to listen to the broadcast.

One week earlier, Aberle interviewed another player in the Falcon and the Snowman saga, Denny Behrend. Those of you who have read American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman will recall Behrend as the U.S. marshal who led the manhunt for Christopher Boyce following his escape from Lompoc Federal Penitentiary in 1980. In the interview, Behrend talks about his role in Boyce’s recapture and also discusses other aspects of his career as a lawman. Go here to listen to the full interview.

For more interviews with Christopher Boyce, Cait Boyce and Vince Font, visit the Interviews & Press page of this website.

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The Falcon and the scaremeister

There was a movie that came out in 1986 called Maximum Overdrive. You might have seen it. It starred Emilio Estevez as a truck stop cook who gets caught in the middle of a worldwide assault on humanity by machines. The movie was a gore-fest, written and directed by Stephen King and featuring a musical score by AC/DC. It was one of the worst movies I have ever loved. It was also one of the most educational, even though I didn’t realize it at the time.

In an early scene, Estevez’s character is taken aside by his boss – a seedy southern fat-cat caricature named Bubba Hendershot – and told that from now on, he would be putting in nine-hour days but only getting paid for eight. When Estevez refuses, Hendershot brings out the big guns: “You’re on parole, boy. Either your ass belongs to me, or it belongs to the state of North Carolina.”

I was a kid then, but that scene stuck with me. More than anything, I saw it as a cheap ploy to get the audience to hate Hendershot – all the better to revel in his violent death later on. I remember scoffing at the notion that any real employer would be able to get away with holding someone’s freedom over their head just to squeeze a few extra dollars out of them. Surely, that could never happen. Not here. Then two weeks ago, I read Cait Boyce’s blog post Of Rehabilitation, Human Dignity and Second Chances and it occurred to me how naïve I’d been for most of my life.

She spoke of the struggle most ex-cons face when finding work, and talked about bosses just like the one above, who would essentially tell their paroled employees, “You’ll work when I tell you, for what I want to pay you, and if you refuse I’ll have you sent straight back to where you came from.”

Reading those words brought the past and present colliding. I sat there slack-jawed, nodding my head in belated appreciation of the artistry behind King’s ploy to sandwich a slice of important social commentary in-between all the rampaging trucks and automatous electric knives. Maybe Maximum Overdrive wasn’t that lame, after all.

But it wasn’t until later that the real kicker to this story smacked me square between the eyes: Bubba Hendershot, that cruel and cold hearted S.O.B. whose on-screen message took 27 years to sink in, was portrayed by none other than Pat Hingle. The guy you might remember as Christopher Boyce’s father in a movie called The Falcon and the Snowman. Talk about irony. My mind is now officially blown.

Vince Font is the co-author of the book American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman with Christopher Boyce and Cait Boyce. The book is available now in hardcover from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and elsewhere.

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“American Sons” from the editor’s eye

I received a surprise in the mail today. No, it wasn’t a check. It was a postcard of the cover of the book American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman, which I edited. The authors, Christopher Boyce, Cait Boyce, and Vince Font, took time to write gracious, thoughtful notes thanking me for my work. Touched by the gesture, their words gave me chills. But in reality, I should be thanking them for allowing me to be part of such a moving, extremely personal story and exhilarating ride! I wanted to share my perspective on this amazing project.

A Bit of History

Vince Font had been a writer colleague and friend for several years when he approached me last summer about editing the book. I didn’t know Chris or Cait and had no knowledge of their history, the previous books, or even seen the movie. The kicker was I’d never edited a book. When I cautioned Vince about that, his response was, “Well, I’ve never written one, so it should work out fine!” But he had confidence in my abilities and his co-authors trusted him and so began the fascinating, collaborative partnership to bring the Boyce’s story to the readers.

The Process

As a fellow writer/editor, I’ve always had the respect and reverence talented writers’ words deserve. I also know sharing your thoughts, feelings and personal experiences in a well-crafted, coherent and engaging format is extremely hard work. Add the process of putting to paper Chris’ horrific time in prison, Cait’s unflagging work to free Boyce and Lee, and her struggle with cancer, and you might begin to imagine the effort and soul put forth. My task was to make sure their words were clear and true to the spirit of the saga.

Imagine three writers and one novice editor communicating, revising, suggesting, nudging, vetoing, whining (not much, and it was probably me), and collaborating. Three distinct voices, jumps along a timeline, and inclusion of historical facts, created a high level of complexity. But as the writers began to trust my vision for maintaining cohesion while grabbing the reader, we all hit our stride. Ultimately, passion, professionalism, and a desire to do the best work unified this project. Oh, and an insane deadline… I began editing the book the first of July and the e-book launched on August 18th! For those of you not in the book biz, that’s a crazy turnaround time.

Thanks

I hope this peek into the editing process gives you just a glimpse of why I’m so proud of lending a hand in creating this book. Thanks to Chris and Cait for opening their lives and hearts to me, and to Vince for taking a chance on a newbie who is thrilled to have been a part of such a great project. As I said in my Amazon review, “A testament to the quality of the writing is that I had to remind myself as I was reading/editing it – THIS IS A JOB! Totally engrossing and engaging read. I know you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed helping to shape the final, fantastic product!”

Now, go buy the book. You won’t be able to put it down. Trust me, I know.

Freelance writer/editor Nancy LaFever has published thousands of magazine articles and blog posts on topics including fine crafts, emotional health, business, humor, and popular culture. She also writes and edits copy for various industries. LaFever draws on her background and diverse careers as an advertising/marketing maven, graphic designer, fiber artist and hair salon receptionist to inform her writing. A Master’s level licensed psychotherapist and substance abuse counselor, LaFever no longer practices because after 20 years, she finally got it right. She tries really hard not to do more than one of the above at the same time—it confuses people.

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Fighting recidivism through education and rehabilitation

Last week, I shared some thoughts about the prison system and the release of felons into society. My main question was simple: what becomes of an individual, released from prison, who cannot work? The article was met with many comments and questions. I’d like to add some statistics and facts to further emphasize that prison, while necessary for offenders, also needs to include education and rehabilitation. But maybe we also need to educate employers and the people in charge of our justice system.

As I previously stated, the United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. At year-end 2009, there were 743 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics for 2011, there were 2,266,800 adults incarcerated throughout federal, state and county jails.

Additionally, 4,814,200 adults at year-end 2011 were on probation or on parole. In total, 6,977,700 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2011 – representing about 2.9% of adults in the U.S. resident population. Also in the system were 70,792 youths in juvenile detention in 2010.

Most people believe that if they stay on the “right” side of the justice system, they will never have to experience jail. Yet more and more people are being sentenced to prison terms throughout this country.

The likelihood of going to state or federal prison

The United States Department of Justice has compiled statistics on the likelihood of becoming a prisoner in this country. Frankly, the statistics scare me.

  • If recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an estimated one out of every 15 persons (6.6%) will serve time in a prison during their lifetime.
  • Lifetime chances of a person going to prison are higher for men (11.3%) than for women (1.8%). Likewise, chances are higher for blacks (18.6%) and Hispanics (10%) than for whites (3.4%).
  • Based on current rates of first incarceration, an estimated 32% of black males will enter state or federal prison during their lifetime, compared to 17% of Hispanic males and 5.9% of white males.
  • In 2010, it was estimated that 19.8 million people (representing 8.6% of the population of the United States) have at least one felony conviction. This is almost double what it was in 1980. Within some minority populations, those possessing a felony conviction exceeds 25%.

What happens after release from prison?

According to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Justice, there are more than 650,000 men and women released from federal and state prisons each year. These men and women return to their communities with the hope of securing employment and housing, and the prayer of not returning to prison. Sadly, the unemployment rates among ex-prisoners are between 25-40%. It’s not rocket science to see that that high unemployment rates are a key factor in recidivism. In fact, the one-year post-release recidivism rate is 44%.

Generally, at the time of release from prison, the parolee is required to seek and maintain employment. During check-ins with parole and probation officers, the parolee must provide proof of that employment. If a parolee is assigned to a halfway house prior to full release, he or she is required to have employment within 30 days of their release. Should the parolee fail to become employed, for whatever the reason, their supervision may be terminated and they can be returned to prison for violation of their parole guidelines.

Where does this leave an ex-convict who is finally released from prison?

Policies which seek to prevent a convicted felon from working are not only discriminatory but also cause a skyrocketing effect for recidivism rates throughout the country. Simply put, if you refuse to allow an ex-convict opportunities for employment, that individual will return to that which they know – crime. The biggest loser in this scenario is the taxpayer, but the ultimate loser is our society.

Education and rehabilitation

I have been in this business far too long to believe that everyone can be saved, changed, educated or rehabilitated. But I also know that for the men and women who are willing to work within the system, to accept the incentive programs offered, there must be something offered to them to serve as rehabilitation other than a locked down cell.

Prisons and employers need to work together to form a system that can punish, while providing a light at the end of the tunnel. You’ve got to give them hope.

The key for employers is to be open minded enough to accept the prospect of hiring someone with a less than sterling past. Employers who have a history of hiring ex-convicts insist that, generally speaking, ex-convicts can make exceptionally dedicated and motivated employees who are grateful that their employer has taken a chance on them. Many have had hands-on vocational training while incarcerated and are in need of less on-the-job training.

A convict with an alcohol- or drug-related conviction who has successfully completed a substance abuse program may have a strong argument that he or she has put their troubles behind them, unlike those who haven’t undergone any rehab treatments while in prison.

Government benefits for employers

The U.S. government provides many benefits to companies who actively seek to hire ex-convicts. Here are some examples:

  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). This gives an immediate contribution to an employer’s “bottom line” by providing eligible employers with a federal tax credit for hiring an ex-offender.
  • Job Training Partnership Act. This can reimburse some training wages. There are also additional services that vary by state.
  • Prisoner Reentry Initiative (PRI). This awards grants to employment-centered organizations that provide mentoring, job training, and other transitional services for ex-offenders.

In addition to the above listed benefits, some states offer a free service that provides individual fidelity bonds to employers for job applicants with a conviction record.

The bottom line

If we used tax money to build a better justice system and facilitate rehabilitation with the goal that parolees can be taught to make it in the outside world, it just might pay off in the long run. If more prisons would offer continuing education classes and work-related job skill classes, we might be able to insure that a percentage of the men and women leaving prison will not be coming back.

Prison is for punishment. But if we can educate and rehabilitate while punishing, we may be able to finally get a handle on the outrageous recidivism rate of crime in this country, stop the revolving prison doors, and provide the people returning to society a life that will keep them out of prison for good.

Cait Boyce is the co-author of the book American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman. She has worked in the legal profession for over thirty-five years, specializing in prisoner rights and fighting for the parole of non-violent criminal offenders.

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