Ashley Furst on reducing recidivism in Colorado

May 1, 2024

“Many people think getting out of prison must be simple — you get released and you go back to the life you lived before you were locked up.

“For many former inmates, that’s not the case. Colorado has one of the highest recidivism rates in the U.S., at nearly 45%.

“Experts say for many people being released from prison, access to support and resources inside and outside can make all the difference.

“The Breakthrough program, which is offered at several Colorado prisons, is providing services starting while inmates are still incarcerated and continuing after they are released. …

Ashley Furst [Leading with Conviction™ 2024 participant], with Breakthrough, said the continued contact their reentry specialists provide helps keep participants from returning to prison.

“‘They get overwhelmed and they don’t know how to troubleshoot or fix something that might be happening and they get overwhelmed and they might start using again or they might be like, it’s not worth it,’ Furst said.

“The Breakthrough program is designed to teach inmates skills they’ll need to have to stay out of prison. Subjects inmates learn include starting a business, resume building, job interviewing, and social skills like learning to empathize with others.”

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