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Getting tough on crime is a popular sentiment, but what happens when criminals get out of jail? In most cases they do something that puts them right back behind bars again. A program called Turnabout is bucking that trend. Allysa Adams tells how they are helping ex-cons stay out of jail and on the job.            

 
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SCRIPT:

(Locator: Denver, Colorado)

Ed Raullerson wants to move on. Raullerson spent three years in prison for a drug conviction. His goal now?

Ed Raullerson/Turnabout Client: “Hopefully get me a good-paying job driving a fork lift.”

Today, Raullerson and a half dozen other recently released prisoners are getting their fork lift certification – thanks to Turnabout.

Marty Sorensen/Trinity United Methodist Church: “We’re teaching people how to reintegrate back into society because most of these people have been incarcerated for a long, long time.”

Started in 1985 by Trinity United Methodist Church, Turnabout hooks up with convicts both inside and outside prisons to provide training and education, help with resume and interview skills, and help find jobs.

The Rev. Tina Yankee/Executive Director, Turnabout: “95% of all people will get out, and when they get out they need help. So we’re there to help them hopefully not go back and commit another crime.”

Turnabout’s been able to cut average recidivism rates in half. It’s unique in that its clients are trained for jobs that are available, pay well, and often suit the solitary lifestyle many ex-cons prefer.

Bill Abegg/Turnabout Client: “I’ve got an intense criminal background.”

Bill Abegg is one of the 3,500 ex-cons helped by Turnabout.

Bill Abegg/Turnabout Client: “I didn’t have great plans on my release. I didn’t know what I was going to do.”

Thanks to Turnabout, he’s now a supervisor at a steel factory and working on a degree in paralegal work. For this single father, Turnabout proved it’s about more than the here and now. It’s about all our futures.

Bill Abegg with sons: “I want them both to be scholars and running for president.”

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A study done by Turnabout showed after one year only 17 percent of their clients ended up back in jail. Compare that to the normal recidivism rate of 35 percent.

For more information, contact Turnabout at 303-813-0005.