When it comes to curbing crime, one Meridian City Council member is questioning the way some locals do business. Mary Perry, who represents Ward 2, attributes at least some of Meridian's crime problem to many young people not being able to secure jobs.
'We need more jobs available to children who have misdemeanors.'
Misdemeanors are crimes such as, simple assaults or a disturbance at a business. They are considered less serious than felony offenses. Councilman Perry says many people, young and old, who have these type crimes on their records are not able to secure jobs here.
'When companies in Meridian, and there are companies I won't name them publicly, when they say that they don't hire people with misdemeanors, something's wrong,' says Perry. 'I can understand not wanting somebody with a felony, but it really should be determined by the kind that it is.'
Nellie Satcher is director of the WIN Job Center in Meridian. She estimates that less than half the companies her office deals with have a policy that prohibits the hiring of people with misdemeanor offenses on their record.
'A lot of times it may be connected with their insurance,' says Satcher. 'There are a lot of different guidelines that you have to go by with the different insurance regulations. So, the employers, they hire who they can in a lot of cases.'
To help encourage the hiring of people with a criminal record, Satcher says there are some government incentives that provide things such as tax breaks.
'So, that's something that they could look into, and if employers are interested they can come by and we can give them more information about it.'
For more information on government incentives that are available to businesses, call the WIN Job Center in Meridian at (601) 483-1406.