Reader letters July 30

Jul 30, 2014

Help wanted for ex-inmates

Sheriff Greg Christopher recently announced that per capita, Haywood County has more volunteers working in prison ministry than any other county in North Carolina. Congratulations to all involved in this most worthwhile effort. Your work is making a substantial difference in the lives of many.

However, there exists a glaring need for work to be done with inmates upon their release from the detention center. The conversion of the old jail to a facility to help with housing and counseling will go a long way toward helping the lives of inmates upon their release. We urge our community to financially support this conversion of the old jail.

There remains the significant problem of securing employment for many inmates upon their release. Even with temporary housing in the old jail and a new outlook on life, the released inmate is in desperate need of employment. The present inmate populations is made up of both skilled and unskilled workers.

We are asking our community employers to open your hearts to give those who have made a serious mistake in their lives a new and second chance by granting them a job interview. We know from our experience in ministering to these inmates, that they are most serious in seeking to become productive and respected members of society.

If you as a responsible and caring employer in our community would agree to grant a job interview to an ex-inmate, please call 926-0106 to schedule an interview. We thank you most sincerely for your kind consideration of this request.

Frank Busteed,

Prison ministry, St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church