US DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR AND JUSTICE AWARD $59.4M IN GRANTS TO IMPROVE REENTRY OUTCOMES FOR CURRENT, FORMERLY INCARCERATED INDIVIDUALS
Awards support jail-based job centers, overcoming impacts of criminal justice records
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today an investment of $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."
These grants are part of an ongoing series of new actions taken by the Obama administration to reduce recidivism and promote reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals.
Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release
To help integrate government services offered by correctional facilities with federally funded workforce development programs and assist soon-to-be-released inmates transition to working life in their communities, the department is awarding approximately $4.9 million in grants to 10 organizations that operate specialized American Job Centers inside correctional facilities. Approximately 2,500 American Job Centers are located in communities throughout the country, funded by the department and administered by local workforce investment boards.
This is the third round of LEAP grants. Grantees are local workforce development boards that have demonstrated partnerships with their county or municipal governments and their county, municipal, or regional correctional facilities. Today's awardees are located in communities in 10 states. To date, the department has awarded approximately $20.3 million to 41 grant projects in 19 states. The goal of these grants is to strengthen communities by better integrating workforce and judicial services already available in the community.
Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release Grantees
City State Amount
County of Hudson
Jersey City NJ $500,000
Suffolk County Dept. of Labor, Licensing & Consumer Affairs
Hauppauge NY $489,901
Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County
Seattle WA $500,000
Lane Workforce Partnership
Eugene OR $500,000
Workforce Investment Board of Tulare County
Visalia CA $500,000
State of Alaska, Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development
Juneau AK $500,000
Region 5 Workforce Board Inc.
Greenfield IN $427,327
Dallas County Local Workforce Development Board
Dallas TX $500,000
Pasco-Hernando Workforce Board Inc.
Spring Hill FL $499,904
Tucson AZ $492,441
National Clean Slate Clearinghouse
The departments of Labor and Justice together will provide $1.5 million to the Council of State Governments Justice Center to support the development and implementation of a National Clean Slate Clearinghouse. Clearing a criminal record can be a long and arduous process, and the clearinghouse will remove many of the barriers associated with record cleaning. It will also provide information and resources to reentry, legal services and advocacy organizations that help individuals overcome the negative impacts of juvenile and criminal records.
The clearinghouse will host and update a national website that provides, among other things, state-by-state information on sealing, expungement, and other related legal services.
Second Chance Act
The Justice Department is awarding grants worth $53 million under 11 specific programs to reduce recidivism among adults and youth returning to their communities after confinement. Second Chance Act programs and technical assistance – administered through the Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention – support states, localities, tribes and community organizations in their efforts to reduce recidivism, provide reentry services and research programs. The awards are listed at http://ojp.gov/funding/Explore/OJPAwardData.htm
SCA funding covers a broad range of services, training, mentorship and technical assistance programs. Grants include, but are not limited to Reentry Program for Adults with Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Disorders, Adult Mentoring Program, the Smart Reentry Program, and the National Adult and Juvenile Reentry Resource Center. The NRRC award to the CSGJC of over $6.5 million includes $500,000 for employer-focused technical assistance on fair hiring practices to address the many employment-related barriers experienced by people with criminal records. For juveniles and youth the grants include support for community supervision through the Second Chance Act's Implementing Statewide Plans to Improve Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System, and Strengthening Relationships Between Young Fathers, Young Mothers, and Their Childrenprograms.
Many of these grants align closely with the administration's "My Brother's Keeper" initiative which seeks to close opportunity gaps still faced by too many young people and often by boys and young men of color. In addition, the departments of Labor and Justice are members of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, which the President officially chartered in April. For more on the council, see the recent report, "The Federal Interagency Reentry Council: A Record of Progress and a Roadmap for the Future."
ETA News Release:
Media Contact Name: Ammar Campa-Najjar
US LABOR DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES $64.5M IN GRANTS AS PART OF OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S EFFORTS TO BREAK CYCLE OF POVERTY, CRIME AND INCARCERATION
Awards provide services for at-risk youth; currently and formerly incarcerated individuals
WASHINGTON – What’s next for the 600,000 people released from federal and state prisons annually, millions more leaving county and local jails, and others in danger of falling into the cycle of poverty, crime and incarceration? With the help of $64.5 million in grants announced today by the U.S. Department of Labor, the answer for some will soon be in-demand skills, access to good jobs and a stronger foundation of support within their communities.
To address the employment and life challenges faced by many people involved with the criminal justice system, the department is awarding grants to 40 organizations providing services in 26 U.S. states and the District of Columbia through four programs – Reentry Demonstration Projects for Young Adults, Training to Work, Pathways to Justice Careers, and Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release.
“America works best when we field a full team, but far too many people who have been involved with the criminal justice system are being left on the sidelines,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “These grants are an important step in fulfilling our promise as a land of second chances by moving beyond locking people up and instead working together to unlock their potential.”
The grants were part of a series of new actions taken to reduce recidivism and promote reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals announced today by the Obama administration at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress. Secretary Perez joined Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Education Secretary James King, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro at the event.
Reentry Demonstration Projects for Young Adults
Young adults who exit the correctional system face myriad challenges that include a lack of education and employment skills, antisocial attitudes and values, mental health and substance abuse problems, medical issues, lack of housing and family issues. To help these young people reinvent their lives, grants totaling $31.3 million are being awarded to seven organizations to provide job training and a path to meaningful employment.
The grants will help design programs for adults ages 18 to 24 that apply evidence-based interventions, such as mentoring, career pathways, registered apprenticeship, family reunification and other promising practices with a focus on providing occupational training and credentials. The department will conduct a rigorous evaluation of each program to build upon the evidence base in the area of reentry.
Reentry Demonstration Project Grantees
The Dannon Project
Birmingham, Anniston and Hobson City, Ala.; Florence, S.C.
Latino Coalition for Community Leadership
Aurora/Denver, Colo.; Bakersfield, Santa Ana, Long Beach and Los Angeles, Calif.
Eckerd Youth Alternatives Inc.
Washington, D.C.; East Tampa, Fla.; Allendale, Bamberg and Barnwell counties, S.C.
Goodwill Industries International
Austin, Texas; Detroit, Mich.; Houston, Texas; Johnstown, Pa.; New Orleans, La.
Strive International Inc.
Baltimore, Md.; Hartford, Conn.; New Orleans, La.; New York, N.Y.
Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America Inc.
NW and SE Minneapolis, Minn.; Miami-Dade County, Fla.
Centerstone of Tennessee Inc.
Carbondale and East St. Louis, Ill. and Nashville, Tenn.
Training to Work
The program will award grants totaling $21.2 million to 16 organizations to serve individuals in high-poverty and high-crime areas, including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-designated Promise Zones, which have a large proportion of citizens returning from incarceration and typically experience high rates of recidivism. These grants offer returning citizens in a state or local work release program an opportunity to participate in a career pathway program that defines and maps out a sequence of education, training and workforce skills training resulting in skilled workers that meets the needs of local employers. Additionally, these programs will provide services such as case management, mentoring, and follow-up services.
Training to Work Grantees
The Dannon Project
Volunteers of America of Los Angeles
OIC of Broward, dba OIC of South Florida
Tampa Bay Academy of Hope Inc.
Emerson Park Development Corp.
East St. Louis
Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids Inc.
Fathers` Support Center Saint Louis Inc.
Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow
Structured Employment Economic Development Corp.
Greater Durham Workforce Development Board
The RIDGE Project Inc.
Goodwill Industries of Northwest Ohio Inc.
TRWIB Inc. (Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board)
SER - Jobs for Progress of the Texas Gulf Coast Inc.
Pathways to Justice Careers
The program will award grants totaling $6.5 million to five non-profit organizations and two local governments to provide mentorship and career training to youth ages 16 to 21 that are at risk of dropping out of high school, becoming involved in the criminal justice system, or already hampered by juvenile records. Justice and emergency services personnel will mentor students to explore career paths as police officers, firefighters, lawyers, paramedics and other related professions.
These grants will use a career pathways model – an articulated sequence of rigorous academic and career/technical courses resulting in educational and skills credentials – adapted for in-school youth. Participants will be encouraged to graduate from high school or earn a high school equivalency degree and to either enter the workforce or pursue further pertinent training or post-secondary education.
Pathways to Justice Careers Grantees
Friendly House Inc.
Pima Prevention Partnership
Youth Policy Institute
San Diego County Office of Education
Action for Boston Community Development Inc.
City of Minneapolis
Philadelphia Youth Network Inc.
Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release
To help integrate government services offered by correctional facilities with federally funded workforce development programs and assist soon-to-be-released inmates transition to working life in their communities, approximately $5.5 million in grants to 11 organizations operate specialized American Job Centers inside correctional facilities. Approximately 2,500 American Job Centers are located in communities throughout the country, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and administered by local workforce investment boards. By placing specialized centers inside of county, municipal, or regional jails and correctional facilities, local inmates will receive services to prepare for employment and increase their opportunities for successful reentry into their home communities.
This is the second round of Linking to Employment Activities Pre-release grants designed to build partnerships between local correctional systems and the local workforce systems to connect individuals with criminal records who are transitioning to a range of community-based services that lead to employment and a renewed future. Previously, the department awarded $10 million to 20 organizations in 14 states in June 2015.
Linking to Employment Activities Pre-release Grantees
South Bay Workforce Investment Board Inc.
San Diego Workforce Partnership Inc.
County of Orange
County of Cumberland
County of Westchester on behalf of Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board
Community Action Organization of Scioto County Inc.
Workforce Investment Council of Clackamas County Inc.
City of Providence
Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council
These initiatives are part of the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to help Americans who have paid their debt to society reintegrate into their communities and lead prosperous, law-abiding lives. Many of the grants align closely with the administration’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative which seeks to close opportunity gaps still faced by too many young people and often by boys and young men of color.
ETA News Release:
Media Contact Name: Ammar Campa-Najjar
$10M IN GRANTS AWARDED FOR JAIL-BASED EMPLOYMENT CENTERS TO READY INMATES FOR JOB MARKET BEFORE RELEASE, REDUCE RECIDIVISM
Projects in 14 states seek to strengthen communities and improve public safety
WASHINGTON — More than 9 million people are released from the nation's more than 3,000 county and local jails every year, the U.S. Department of Justice reports. Many of these individuals have few job skills and face difficult barriers to stable employment. Without a strong support system or a steady job, many once incarcerated people are likely to commit new crimes and return to jail: a cycle of recidivism that recurs across the country.
To break the cycle, the U.S. Department of Labor is funding $10 million in grants for demonstration projects in 20 communities in 14 states to provide comprehensive services to inmates before release and ongoing support as they regain their place in the community when their incarceration ends. The grants are funded by the "Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release" or "LEAP" initiative.
"When someone leaves a county or local jail, very real barriers too often stand in their way as they try to find a good job and lead a successful life," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "We have to do more to help them land on their feet as they return to their communities."
"We have to work together and use existing resources in new, innovative ways to break the cycle of incarceration. The LEAP initiative encourages greater coordination between local workforce programs, correctional systems and other critical services to prepare inmates for jobs before release, and to continue to assist them as they return home," Perez added. "This is a commonsense approach that strengthens communities and improves public safety at the same time."
The goal of the LEAP initiative is to break down silos and help integrate two services already offered by local governments — correctional facilities and workforce development programs. In nearly every county, municipal or regional area, jail or correctional facilities are located near the approximately 2,500 American Job Centers in the U.S., funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, but administered by local government or a non-profit organization through a local workforce investment board.
LEAP will provide start-up capital needed by these local workforce investment boards to develop specialized centers in 20 communities in California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. The centers will be extensions of existing American Job Centers nearby and will work to better integrate available community services.
By providing a direct "hand-off" of transitioning offenders to their area's Job Center upon release, the newly released individual will receive follow-up, support and other services at a critical time to help guide them on a path toward a productive career and away from the risks that often return them to jail.
LEAP aligns closely with the principles driving President Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative which seeks to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color and to ensure that all young people can realize their full potential.
In total, 20 grants of approximately $500,000 each were awarded to local workforce investment boards that have demonstrated partnerships with their county or municipal governments and their county, municipal, or regional correctional facilities.
Editor's note: A chart listing the grant recipients follows this release.
Alameda County Workforce Investment Board
Hayward Calif. $500,000
County of Orange, Orange County Workforce Investment Board
Santa Ana Calif. $500,000
San Diego Workforce Partnership, Inc.
San Diego Calif. $499,941
Ventura County Workforce Investment Board
Ventura Calif. $500,000
Workforce Alliance, Inc.
New Haven Conn. $500,000
CareerSource Palm Beach County
West Palm Beach Fla. $495,660
Indianapolis Ind. $500,000
Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Inc.
Springfield Mass. $500,000
Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc.
Brunswick Maine $500,000
Full Employment Council
Kansas City Mo. $500,000
St. Louis County Division Workforce Development
St. Louis Mo. $500,000
Workforce Investment Board of Herkimer, Madison and Oneida Counties
Utica N.Y. $500,000
Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Workforce Investment Board
Cleveland Ohio $497,846
Portland Ore. $500,000
Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc.
Allentown Pa. $500,000
Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board
Norristown Pa. $500,000
Bay Consortium Workforce Investment Board
Warsaw Va. $500,000
The SkillSource Group, Inc.
Vienna Va. $500,000
Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board
Milwaukee Wis. $499,929
Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin
Madison Wis. $500,000
ETA News Release:
Media Contact Name: Jason Kuruvilla
Media Contact Name: David Roberts