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New center works to reduce recidivism for local convicts

A new program in mid-Missouri is trying to keep people convicted of a crime from going back to prison.

The Re-entry Opportunity Center (ROC) opened about a year ago in Columbia. It provides resources to people just released from prison, so they don’t go back.

D’Markus Thomas-Brown with ROC says there is a risk to hiring someone with a criminal record. But he says there is a potential reward too.

“When you allow them that position, and that place to prove themselves, they could be a $1 million employee, they’re not going anywhere and you’re paying them $50,000. The loyalty is there because you gave them that opportunity.”

The recidivism rate in Boone County is about 27% within a year, according to the group In2Action. Brown was one of the guests on 93.9 The Eagle’s CEO Roundtable, Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings on 93.9 The Eagle.

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