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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ETA News Release: [04/28/2011]
Contact Name: Lina Garcia or Dave Roberts
Phone Number: (202) 693-4661 or x5945
Release Number: 11-0615-NAT

US Department of Labor announces additional funding for 18 organizations to help former offenders gain job skills

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announces the award of approximately $7.2 million in funds for 18 third-generation grantees to continue assistance for adult offenders who are returning to communities from incarceration. The purpose of these grants is to provide an employment-centered approach to reintegration that improves long-term labor market prospects for former offenders.

"To successfully reintegrate into communities and find stable employment, former offenders need jobs skills and moral support," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "This continued funding aims to connect these individuals with organizations that can provide invaluable guidance as they transition into the labor force."

Grants were initially awarded in 2009 through a competitive process open to nonprofit, faith-based and community organizations, which develop the necessary relationships and facilitate connections to rehabilitation services for program participants. Authorized by the Workforce Investment Act, these grants will provide a third year of funding to the existing grantees. Program participants are individuals ages 18 and older who have been convicted as adults under federal or state law, but who have never been convicted of a sex-related offense, with the exception of prostitution.

Each year, approximately 650,000 inmates are released from state and federal prisons and return to their communities and families. Without assistance to make a successful transition, the majority of former offenders return to criminal activity. The trend has been that almost three out of five of these individuals will be charged with new crimes within three years of their release from prison, and two out of five will be re-incarcerated, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

To see a listing of grantee organizations, visit http://www.doleta.gov/RExO/Grantees.cfm.

For information on the range of Department of Labor employment and training programs, visit http://www.doleta.gov.