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Advocates Challenge Chamber Members To Consider Ex-Felons

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More than 2 thousand prisoners are expected to wind up in the Big Bend region after their release this year, and Big Bend After Re-Entry Coalition Chairman Lauren Walker says business owners hold the keys to their success.

Walker’s pitch to a breakfast meeting of the Greater Tallahassee Area Chamber of Commerce was, appropriately enough, economic. She says an ex-offender without a job needs expensive services, and is more likely to commit another crime.

“What are you willing to do to keep Tallahassee and the Big Bend region a safe place to live, work and raise your families?”

And the sate isn’t generous when it comes to providing transitional housing. Walker says it pays for just six beds in the entire Big Bend region.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.