Rotary Club gets a lesson in state prisons

From left, Nick Yanicelli, Cindy Cloney and Kathleen Taylor stand with Dennis Arrouet and Gary Miller of Greenwich Rotary.

From left, Nick Yanicelli, Cindy Cloney and Kathleen Taylor stand with Dennis Arrouet and Gary Miller of Greenwich Rotary.

The Greenwich Rotary Club recently hosted the Order of Malta to speak to club members. The group’s central speaker, Nick Yanicelli, educated the Rotary Club about prison statistics in the state of Connecticut.

The club discovered a shocking statistic from the U.S. Department of Justice that on Jan. 1, 2008 in the United States more than one in 100 adults in the country were in prison or jail. The cost to keep a person in jail in Connecticut for one year is more than $40,000.00 per person — more than what residents spend on higher education per person.

The Order of Malta also educated the Rotary Club on ways to work with state legislators on criminal reform, as the group is involved with several civic organizations to help qualified, screened ex-offenders find employment. The problem, they said, seems to be that the state has over crowded jails with first-time offenders for things like drugs and alcohol, when other jail alternative punishments or community service projects may have alleviated this burden.

The Order is always looking for volunteers, and people interested to get involved.

For more information on the Sovereign Military Order of Malta American Association, USA, contact Kathy Taylor, executive director of the Malta Prison Volunteers of Connecticut at 203-691-1760.

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