The State of Connecticut decided to ‘help’ newly released inmates by taking 10% out of their commissary account and putting into a savings account for them. Then the inmate will have money upon release.
Well, sort of. Once the savings account balance hits $1,000 the State, in a flint-hearted move, keeps the 10% to reimburse itself for the incarceration. Thus, the maximum in the account will be $1,000. Which is not enough to get an apartment or do much of anything except get high or get drunk. Considering that the vast bulk of people in prison are there because of alcohol and drugs, it seems likely that many upon release will do just that.
But it gets worse. The State wanted to always keep the 10%. This goofy savings account was a compromise made by a Connecticut legislator who has a son in prison. The real problem here is that the State offers no services upon release, something which virtually guarantees recidivism.
If you give an addict $1,000 cash and no help, don’t except them to act differently. What do you think they’re going to spend the money on?