US backs ex-offenders’ job hopes with $74m
Fri, 20 Jun 2014
Grants totalling $74m (£43m) are being given to 37 community service organisations helping adult and young offenders leaving prison to re-integrate into society.
The US Department of Labor has given the grants to the organisations to provide employment, training and support for the former prisoners.
Targeted at areas with high rates of crime and poverty, the grants will help to fund a range of services including case management, mentoring, education and training that leads to industry-recognised credentials.
"With more than half a million people being released from state and federal prisons each year, re-entry job training programmes like the ones the Labor Department is funding today are a key part of ensuring people coming out of prison have the opportunity to learn the skills they need to successfully re-enter their communities," said US deputy attorney general James Cole.
"Given that many of these individuals have limited skills and inadequate education, we cannot simply release them and expect that they will, on their own, be able to rebuild their lives and get a job with a livable wage.”
Tackling the stigma of a criminal record is addressed by funding for programmes to seal juvenile records and handle delinquency complaints outside the juvenile justice system.
Other funding will help men and women participating in work-release programmes to gain the job skills necessary to succeed in in-demand occupations.