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Program aims to get incarcerated vets back on their feet

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Inside the walls of a prison there are burglars, carjackers, those convicted of assault, and several other kinds of criminals -- including men and women who have served in the military. A program in Milwaukee is working to set these veterans up for success and keep them from ever returning to prison.

Marquis Lathan was 26 when he joined the Marines and though he had a history of criminal behavior going in, the worst of it happened after he left the Corps. In 2010 he was sent to Wisconsin State Prison for two years.

"I served four years in the Marine Corps, back from '97 to 2001 I was given credit. Came home in 2001, had some issues, went through a divorce.  Kind of a hard time after leaving the military," said Lathan. "Just a lot of drinking I was doing and I got into a big fight and somebody ended up getting injured during that process and I was charged with substantial battery."

Lathan says it was the low point of his life, but also the turning point thanks to the Incarcerated Veterans Program through the Center for Veterans Issues.

"Due to the high incarceration rate of our veterans, we need to have something in reach of some sort in these institutions to help them know that there's an opportunity for a second chance," said Justin Roloff with the Center for Veterans Issues.

The program works with these veterans to develop an action plan for when they are released. Roloff also sets up job training and meetings with employees while helping to overcome any employment obstacles.

Roloff says even though it's not Lathan's first time behind bars, he believes success is in his future.

"There's growth, there's more consistency, more follow through on his end. While he may stumble here and there, he picks himself up right away," Roloff said.

Lathan has since been released and is working with CVI to land a job.

"That's a good feeling coming out of this situation to know there's some help out there, waiting on us," Lathan said.

1 Comment

  • sandman54862

    Scott Walker remembers creating jobs as assemblyman in Wisconsin . It was easy with ALEC. 32000 UNION public sector jobs. It is not as easy this time with out using your tax dollars. Scott Walker has created ALL Wisconsin`s budget problems working for ALEC. In 1997 Walker and Prosser as state assemblymen championed for ALEC with truth in sentencing telling the legislatures it would not cost a dime it was to give judges not parole boards the control over sentencing. Then Walker filibustered to stop sentencing changes after the fact misleading ALL the legislatures. With out the sentencing changes Wisconsin`s prisons quadrupled over night. Most people sentenced to 2 years now had to serve as much as 6o years. As the Wisconsin Budget watch Blog shows . Stopping just a percentage of these long sentences Wisconsin would save 707 million per year. Wisconsin could have free tuition colleges. It shows Wisconsin has wasted 100 billion if you add the numbers to the state budget since 1997. Not including the building new or remodeling of 71 courthouses & 71 county jails & 441 police stations and dozens of prisons 28 billion plus interest. The total is over 28 BILLION plus the 60 Billion spent by social services to support prisoners families because the bread winner was a political prisoner as US Att gen Eric Holder explained. Then farming out prisoners in several states until the courts realized it was not allowed in the Wisconsin constitution. Wisconsin then hired 32000 union public sector workers to fill the jobs housing the prisoners from deputies , judges, district attorneys all owe Walker for creating there jobs. 32000 UNION PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS. This cost taxpayers over 3.8 billion or a half million per day to house these EXTRA prisoners per day in Milwaukee county alone. Wisconsin claims it has 24,000 prisoners compared to Minnesota`s 5500. Wisconsin`s corrections population is 104,000 with many in half way house and county jails and county prisons that are not counted. . In 1995 Milwakee county had less than 200 prisoners now it has thousands. Is Scott Walker moving Wisconsin forward ? This your reason for budget problems in Wisconsin. Big spender big government Scott Walker. Why does he not work for the people he is taking his check from the people ? Walker is a ALEC man. ALEC has no place in any democracy.
    Wisconsin Budget watch blog has a great article on this subject.

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