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November 4, 2008    DOL Home > Newsroom > News Releases   

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ETA News Release: [04/10/2008]
Contact Name: Otto Heck or Jennifer Kaplan
Phone Number: (202) 693-4676 or x5052
Release Number: 08-0458-NAT

U.S. Department of Labor awards nearly $3 million to advance President’s Prisoner Re-entry Initiative

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor has announced grants totaling almost $3 million to advance the President's Prisoner Re-entry Initiative. Through a partnership operated with the U.S. Department of Justice, grants of $130,434 each will go to 23 criminal justice agencies across the country. They, in turn, will fund faith-based and community organizations to deliver employment services to prisoners returning to civilian life.

"These grants will advance state partnerships with local faith-based and community organizations to equip ex-prisoners with basic job skills, counseling and opportunities to earn an honest living in our communities," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.

The President's Prisoner Re-entry Initiative is designed to strengthen urban communities through an employment-centered program that incorporates mentoring, job training and other comprehensive transitional services benefiting ex-offenders. This program has significantly reduced the rate of recidivism by helping non-violent ex-inmates find meaningful employment through the assistance of local faith-based and community organizations.

Over the next two years, funds will be used to offer services such as basic skills remediation, soft- skills training, counseling and on-the-job training. Job placement efforts will be coordinated with local One-Stop Career Centers, businesses, educational institutions and other employment providers.

"Successful re-entry is often built on effective cooperation between the criminal justice system and community and faith-based organizations. By strengthening these relationships, we can help ex-offenders find and retain jobs and avoid re-incarceration," said acting Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Brent R. Orrell.

In addition to the District of Columbia, 22 states will receive these post-release services grants: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

For more information on the Prisoner Re-entry Initiative, visit

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