Based on the title you must be wondering how does the framework of a Green New Deal enhance re-entry for returning citizens and local public safety? Expanding existing renewable power sources and developing and deploying new energy production capacity will create new vocational training and education that can be an opportunity to help members of low-income communities, break their cycle of poverty, abuse and crime (both as victims and those that may become justice-involved youth ending in their possible incarceration).  And for those that are in the custodial care of correctional facilities, job-readiness programming can develop a number of certificate level training courses via nonprofit partners and faith-based organizations that can lead to good jobs for returning citizens that pay a real livable wage.

Due to their location near coastlines, poor air quality, and other environmental threats, many low-income communities have and continue to be negatively impacted by climate change.  Imagine how transformative a framework of a Green New Deal will be to protecting our environment, and the development of economic opportunities for working-class families, young people, returning citizens and other people relocating to America for a better life through a green jobs guarantee.  

Our country has lost too many young people to mass incarceration because too many have and continue to experience on-going housing insecurity, inadequate educational resources and competition for jobs traditionally held by high-school aged or young adults that are now being performed by older persons just trying to maintain their families’ day-to-day survival.  A Green New Deal simultaneously responds to an environmental and economic crisis that can give many vulnerable populations a chance at establishing economic stability, maintaining their sustainable affordable housing and turn their local communities into thriving and robust healthy micro-economies. And when a community is actually thriving environmentally and economically, crime is reduced and public safety is enhanced, because unemployment will decline, and local education systems will improve along with housing conditions.  Our local communities contribute to our individual development, so how we live ecologically matters and a Green New Deal will assist in addressing these disadvantages.

As a criminal justice professional attempting to lower recidivism rates, the positive impact of a comprehensive response to our environmental challenges that include a job guarantee via the framework of a Green New Deal can provide unprecedented life-changing opportunities especially for returning citizens.  I urge members of Congress to support a Green New Deal for the sake of our current and future generations. We do not need the continued long-term and slow-paced response that produce reports and discussions that do not lead to any real action that truly impacts vulnerable population’s ability to improve their quality of life.  

We only have one planet and every life is precious; a Green New Deal would redirect our current course, saving our environment and giving the current and future generations a real chance.  That is what the humanity of America is all about.