The Louisiana work release program is just another good-old-boy profit scheme. I have had the opportunity to know firsthand about this operation in St. Tammany Parish since 2011, from a work-release prisoner, who showed me all of his paperwork on his wages. He was due to be released in a few months and virtually had no money to be released into the general population because it was systematically taken from him.

If an inmate makes $200 a week, for example, and the program takes 62 percent of his gross wages, that leaves him with $76 gross before taxes and Social Security. Take away 20 percent of his gross salary ($40) for those, and now he has $36 for a week of work.

Then the program has a commissary where they charge the inmate for things they need such as soap, toothpaste, deodorant, phone, etc., at inflated prices, and the inmate is lucky if he is left with $5 or $10. Then when he/she is released, they have virtually nothing to start a new life (apartment rent, transportation, food) and they wind up committing a crime to make money and guess where they go back to?

It’s a shame and scandalous that this program is allowed to prey upon the people it is supposed to help, just so the fat cats can get fatter and richer.

They are in this business for a reason and it is called greed!

Ken Morse

retired veteran

Abita Springs