A new round of grants are going to improve re-entry outcomes for convicts with Long Island jobs, among other locations.
The U.S. Department of Labor has invested $6.4 million in grants to provide currently and formerly incarcerated individuals with important jobs skills and resources by establishing additional American Job Centers inside correctional facilities, and create an online clearinghouse – in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice – to make information needed to expunge criminal records more readily available to further remove barriers to employment.
At the same time, the Justice Department is also announcing over $53 million in Second Chance grants to help state, local, and tribal government agencies, and community organizations serve formerly incarcerated people in their communities. The funds awarded today are part of the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to reduce recidivism and promote reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics report the nation’s more than 3,000 county jails release over 11 million people each year. Many of these individuals have few job skills and struggle with transitioning back into local communities and obtaining gainful employment. Research shows that providing improved education and more job opportunities to these people can reduce recidivism and remove many barriers to success – making our communities safer.
“America has always been a land of laws and opportunity, that’s why this administration is doing everything it can to move beyond locking people up and instead working to unlock their potential,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “These grants will help people – who have paid their debt to society – transition from prison to prosperity by contributing fully to our nation’s economy and way of life.”
“If we expect the millions of Americans who come into contact with our justice system to become contributing members of our communities, we have a responsibility to give them the skills and support they need to succeed,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Karol V. Mason. “By providing critical job training, helping to clear criminal records, and offering an array of services to ease the transition back into society, we are tapping a large vein of human potential that can lead us to greater public safety.”