A 33-year veteran of the Corrections Department will be the next director of the state’s prison system. George Lombardi headed the Division of Adult Institutions before he left the department at the start of the Blunt administration. Since then he’s worked at the other end of the scale as a consultant with the Missouri Youth Services Institute. He thinks the two experiences have given him a special insight into the importance of getting at the root causes of crime. He thinks he can bring that experience back to the prison system, especially in working with young inmates.He says he’s been drawn back by the dedication of the people who run our prisons. He calls them "the unsung heroes of the criminal justice system." Lombardi says one of the department’s strong suits, and one he wants to emphasize, is the re-entry program. He says it’s critically important the department prepares inmates who are about to leave the system so they can be successful enough on the outside that they won’t come back. Lombardi has been away from the department for three years but he says he has paid attention to what it’s doing and he thinks he can be up to speed quickly.
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