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Grant funding to assist incarcerated individuals

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“Our prisons should be a place where we can train people for skills that can help them find a job, not train them to become more hardened criminals.” -President Obama, July 14, 2015

It’s your goal and ours at JIST to assist the incarcerated with their reentry, including preparing them with the skills and resources necessary to meet their basic needs, reconnect with family and community, and find and keep employment.

Last week, the White House helped all of us come closer to achieving our goals by issuing a news release announcing new actions to reduce recidivism and promote the reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals.

In case you missed it or need a brief overview, these announcements included new grant funding to programs aimed at helping former inmates obtain employment and an education.

  • Second Chance Pell Pilot Program. The Department of Education (DOE) selected 67 colleges and universities that will partner with more than 100 federal and state correctional institutions to enroll roughly 12,000 incarcerated students in educational and training programs.
  • Reentry Demonstration Project for Young Adults. The Department of Labor (DOL) announced over $31 million in grants to 7 organizations to design programs for adults that will provide job training and a path to meaningful employment.
  • Training to Work. The DOL awarded grants totaling over $21 million to 16 organizations to serve individuals in high-poverty and high-crime areas.
  • Linking to Employment Activities Pre-Release. The DOL announced 11 grants totaling over $5 million to organizations operating specialized American Job Centers inside correctional facilities.
  • Pathways to Justice. The DOL awarded grants totaling $6.5 million to 5 non-profit organizations and 2 local governments to provide mentorship and career training to youth ages 16 to 21 who are at risk of dropping out of high school, becoming involved in the juvenile or criminal justice systems, or have juvenile records.
  • Permanent Supportive Housing through Pay for Success. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (DHUD) and Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded $8.7 million to 7 organizations to address individuals cycling between the criminal justice system and homeless services.
  • Toolkit for Housing Reentry Programs. The DHUD is releasing a toolkit that can be replicated by communities looking to build their own reentry housing programs to improve housing opportunities for returning citizens.
  • Protecting the Children of Incarcerated Parents. The DOJ will support the development of model family strengthening policies that can be adopted by and implemented in prisons and jails.

With over 2.2 million individuals in American prisons and jails, it is essential to reduce crime in our communities and improve education and job opportunities so that formerly incarcerated individuals can get back into society successfully.

To learn more about the administration’s commitment to improving reentry outcomes and removing unnecessary obstacles facing formerly incarcerated individuals, click here.

Here is some additional information about the grantees within the President’s latest initiatives.

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