ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC)- In recent months, quite a few high-profile violent crimes in the Rochester region have been linked to homeless parolees sparking the debate about whether the streak of crimes has to do with how the Department of Corrections releases parolees back into the community and a lack of support.

The two most well-known examples of a parolee re-arrest involve Michael Caruthers and Korane Womack. Caruthers raped a 14-year-old girl just hours after being released from prison instead of checking into the Salvation Army. Womack is being accused of rape and attempting to rape two women days after his prison release, he was supposed to check into the Francis Catholic Center on Joseph Avenue.  

27-year-old Maurice Sinkler, was a homeless parolee. He served time in prison for a weapons charge from 2008 to 2013. Upon his release, Sinkler said he had a plan and guidance that helped him get to the Salvation Army, where he rebuilt his life.

“I did my time, I stayed in the law library, practicing law, studying it,” Sinkler said. 

The Salvation Army is a homeless shelter where dozens of parolees call home, every year. 

Michael Rood, the Director of Social Services for the shelter said the facility and the Department of Corrections have had an informal relationship, working with one another since 1996.

“Our philosophy has been rather than discharge someone right to the streets without a place to go we’d rather take them in,” Rood said. “We usually take three people in a week and work with them to get connected with that they need. We can have at any given time with transition maybe 10 parolees a month in the house.”

Sinkler was one of those parolees. His plan was to land a job which he did, at the homeless shelter. He says, most parolees, aren’t as lucky as he was.
“As a parolee you are like a target. If you go fill out an application somewhere, in most cases, you won’t get that call back,” Sinkler said. “You got some parolees who come home and try to fill out application after application and they don’t get that call back so they have one choice. They say I’m going to go back to the streets.”
Sinkler says people are more apt to commit crimes if they don’t have a plan once they are released. Not helping parolees form that plan, this is the flaw he sees in the current way they’re released. Upon release, inmates are given 40-bucks,  put on a bus and sent to a shelter.  Once they get there, they are required to check in with their parole officer but often times that doesn’t happen.
“The bus ride is kind of is tricky because if you’re sending a prisoner home and he’s on a bus it’s up to him if he wants to call parole or not,” Sinkler said. “We all have choices to make and I chose to make the right decision.”
Sinkler chose to make the decision to better his life. Today he works full time at the Salvation Army as a resident assistant.  He also has his own clothing line “Talk Money Nothing Else” and has aspirations of continued success. 
Currently, there are 1,449 parolees in Monroe County. 57 of them are homeless, living in a shelter or halfway house or motel. 
The Department of Corrections told News8 they do help them form a plan. They say all inmates are offered  release preparation programming 120 days before their release that involves a 6-hour course and recourses involving education, job readiness and housing.