Save Adult Alternative Program to help former convicts

4/14/2022, 6 p.m.
Re “Re-entry training program locked out of former school building,” Free Press April 7-9 edition:

Re “Re-entry training program locked out of former school building,” Free Press April 7-9 edition:

I worked in the corrections field for more than 30 years and I know some of the convicts are seeking positive change in their lives when released. I do not understand why in the world Kenneth Williams’ 90-day re-entry program, the Adult Alternative Program in Richmond, would be on the chopping block.

Kudos goes out to Mr. Williams for creating a program for convicts that would get them a trade or skill in order to be gainfully employed and become productive citizens.

I see the Richmond Free Press questioned City Hall concerning this matter and received no response. Does Richmond City Council or the city government value human lives and the right to be productive citizens?

Yes, these people are former convicts but they deserve the right to become productive citizens in our community. Are we consumed too much by the prospect of a new casino, new apartment complexes, etc., that we forget about the little man?

The money Mr. Williams is asking for is just a drop in the bucket compared to other high-end ventures the city is engaged in. One example of this is having the Washington Commanders football team in town. As far as finances are concerned, we are not receiving much of a return on taxpayers’ dollars on that venture. Yes, we do get fanfare and exposure for this, but that’s about all.

Keeping the training program for former convicts open now definitely seems to be low on the totem pole for city government, but it should not be. The city should welcome this program with open arms in order to help those returning to the community from prison and jail.

With all of the violence going on, this is one way to try and keep it down along with other initiatives. This program needs to be funded expeditiously.

Please, please do not let the doors close on the Adult Alternative Program. We badly need this program.

And, Mr. Williams, thanks for all you are doing to change lives one person at a time.



The writer is a former interim superintendent of the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center.