DOL announces $20 million in grant funds for reentry programs

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration recently announced $20 million in grant funds will be available to help adult inmates successfully re-enter the workforce after they leave prison. Fifteen grants of up to $1.4 million each will be awarded through the Training to Work-Adult Reentry program. Organizations providing training and employment services for inmates will be eligible to apply.

After investing in five generations of the employment-centered Reintegration of Adult Ex-Offenders Program, the ETA found that ex-offenders fair better in the job market if they have credentials in their chosen industry. They have also learned ex-offenders reenter their communities more successfully when they receive supportive services prior to their release from prison. Based on this research, the ETA will require grantees to provide inmates with the necessary education and training to receive these industry-recognized credentials. Grantees must also provide employment preparation and mentoring, and connect participants with supportive services.

Approximately 700,000 inmates are released from prisons every year. Re-entry programs supported by these grants help them successfully transition back into their communities by providing them with the skills and support necessary to obtain good jobs. Successfully reentering the community reduces the likelihood they’ll reoffend, and subsequently, save taxpayers money that would otherwise be spent on the high cost of incarceration. BI Incorporated, as part of day reporting and in-custody programs it operates for community corrections agencies, delivers employment and educational modules that help inmates, parolees and probationers gain footing in the job market. With gainful employment, ex-offenders usually stabilize and are less likely to re-offend.