Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Announces $87.5 Million in Grants to Improve Employment Opportunities for Americans Exiting the Criminal Justice System

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor recently made available $82.5 million in Reentry Employment Opportunity grants and $5 million in Fidelity Bonding Demonstration grants to improve employment opportunities for young adults and adults exiting the criminal justice system.

The grants are part of the effort on criminal justice reform. In December 2018, President Donald J. Trump signed the First Step Act, which endeavors to reduce recidivism and ensure successful reentry of ex-offenders back into the community. On April 1, the Department hosted an event – Strengthening America's Workforce – to discuss paths for Americans transitioning from the justice system into the workforce.

"President Trump has led a bipartisan effort in applying commonsense strategies and compassion to maximize successful transitions from the justice system to the nation's workforce," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. "The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to helping those transitioning out of the justice system find family-sustaining careers and successfully integrate back into their communities."

The Reentry Employment Opportunity grants are designed to develop or expand programs to improve employment opportunities for adults ages 18-24 who have been incarcerated in the youth or adult criminal justice system, and adults ages 25 or older, released from prison or jail within two years of enrollment. The Department is especially interested in program models that offer apprenticeship opportunities. Organizations with IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit status, including women's and minority organizations; state or local governments; or any Indian and Native American entity eligible for grants under section 166 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act can apply. Learn more about the Reentry Employment Opportunity grants, including how to apply, at

The Fidelity Bonding Demonstration grants will enable states to expand their use of fidelity bonds to help people with criminal records, including ex-offenders recovering from opioid and other drug addictions, obtain employment. Learn more about the Fidelity Bonding Demonstration grants, including how to apply, at

Employment and Training Administration
April 10, 2019
Release Number
Media Contact: Eric Holland
Phone Number
Share This