To the Editor:
We at Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin applaud your editorial suggestion that Corrections parolees be offered training opportunities more in accord with the needs of their communities than college programs.
LVAEF has been working with inmates at several facilities here in the North Country for nearly ten years now. Very many inmates in the First Offense/Non Violent category come from small Upstate communities and have expressed to us volunteers their extreme anxiety about their hometown reception upon being paroled.
These same smaller communities are typical of those with volunteer staffing problems for firemen and first responders. It is hard to imagine that certified parolees would not be welcome and that their positive contact with older fellow personnel would not expedite their acceptance into their home towns.
I myself have spoken to a number of small town fire chiefs over the years on this subject and they have all been very willing to support such a program.
I hope your suggestion takes root. The North Country and all Upstate stand to gain good citizens and safer homes when it becomes law.