Obama Administration Announces $20.5 Million in Ex-Felon Grants
Funds help those returning to economically distressed, urban communities
The U.S. Department of Labor on Wednesday announced $20.5 million in grant money to fund employment services for formerly imprisoned adults returning to the communities they are from.
The grants are part of labor department’s “Reintegration of Ex-Offenders-Adult” program, which targets those coming home to high-poverty and high-crime communities.
“A strong support network is the key for formerly incarcerated individuals to successfully transition back to their communities,” Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said in a statement. “The federal grants announced today will help to establish this network, while also providing job training to ensure long-term stability and success.”
Grantees include Friends Outside in Los Angeles, Living Classroom Foundation in Baltimore, Tri-County Urban League near Chicago, and Goodwill Industries in New Orleans.
[ALSO READ: Desmond Meade Fighting For Ex-Felon Voting Rights]
The money represents a fifth round of funding under the federal reintegration program.
In 2010, nearly 709,000 people were released from state and federal prisons, an increase of almost 20 percent from 2002, according to the Labor Department. Research indicates that, without assistance to make a successful transition, the majority of former offenders return to criminal activity.
With Wednesday’s announcement, the Obama administration builds on a string of program aimed at getting the middle class back to work. In January, the administration unveiled 180,000 youth summer job commitments from some of the nation’s largest corporations.
In March, the administration unveiled a plan to give cash assistance to the long-term unemployed seeking to train for a career in the different field.