(CBS) — Conservatives and progressives say they are of one mind when it comes to many programs for keeping people out of prison who don’t belong there and helping them stay out of prison once they’ve already been behind bars, reports WBBM’s Craig Dellimore.

Esther Franco-Payne, deputy director of the Illinois Justice Project, notes that one reason some many convicted felons seem to return to crime and prison is that our society makes it difficult for them to make an honest living after a conviction.

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“If we know that we are treating people across the country and from that first point of contact with the system at arrest all the way through re-entry and getting community involved in that process, we’re able to better treat people and make sure that they receive the necessary services that they need in their communities,” Franco-Payne said.

Bryant Jackson-Green, policy analyst for the Illinois Policy Institute, says his conservative group agrees that more must be done to help those who’ve served their sentences for felonies.

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“Well, one of the things we suggest is expanding a program called Adult Redeploy which does what Esther was talking about and basically diverts non-violent offenders from prison to drug treatment, mental health treatment.”

He says driving ex-offenders back toward a life of crime isn’t cost effective.

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Todd Belcore, lead Attorney with the Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty law says—on the other end—it’s counterproductive to make it hard for convicted felons to find legitimate work.