DENVER — The state of Colorado announced a public safety initiative supporting businesses that hire people leaving prison today.
Reducing crime and strengthening communities throughout the state is the goal of a new initiative.
“There are a lot of people who may be leaving who have certain skills. We need to get to know who they are,” said Philip Weiser, Colorado Attorney General.
The announcement came Tuesday by Attorney General Philip Weiser and Governor Jared Polis, as well as non-profit and business leaders. The goal is to increase employment opportunities for as many people leaving the state prison system as possible.
“The coalition is going to focus on as many people as they can build into the pipeline,” Weiser said.
Drew Patterson is a business owner in Buena Vista who already employs a handful of people who re-entered the community.
“I did it initially and got a couple of guys, and very quickly I just kind of fell in love with the whole idea of it,” Patterson said.
He says the workers he employs have been great for him and he hopes to hire even more.
“The cool thing is I don’t ask them to work overtime, I’m not asking them to come in on Saturdays or work late or come in early, they’re just kind of doing that on their own,” Patterson said.
The state leaders are looking for more business owners to join in and expand this program going into the future.