THE NEW organization results from our concern over the high rate of crime among previous offenders and our determination to do something about it.
Of 12,200 persons committed to Federal prisons last year, nearly 8,000 had served previous sentences in State or Federal prisons. We can say from these figures that any advance in correctional procedures that reduces the number of criminal repeaters will make a sizable reduction in the crime rate in general.Note: The President's statement was made public as part of a White House release announcing that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons would be reorganized in January to assure the most effective use of new techniques in inmate rehabilitation. The reorganization would include creation of a division of community services to administer the work release program established under the Law Enforcement Assistance Act of 1965 (79 Stat. 828).
During the first year of this program, the release stated, more than 1,400 prisoners were granted work releases to hold daytime jobs or to attend school in communities near their institutions, returning to prison each night. Fewer than 5 percent were taken off the program for reasons other than their discharge from prison.
The new division of community services would also be responsible for prerelease guidance centers (halfway houses) where inmates nearing release would be helped to establish themselves in the community.
The full text of the release, made public at Austin, Texas, is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 2, p. 1749).