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Grants Help the Incarcerated Find Work and Schooling

Grants Help the Incarcerated Find Work and Schooling

Last Monday, the Department of Education announced new grants worth $1 million called, “Promoting Reentry Success through Continuity of Educational Opportunities” (PRSCEO).  The grants will be awarded to the best support partnerships that help incarcerated individuals find education and workforce training after reentering society.  

According to the Department of Education, about 700,000 individuals are released from federal and state prisons per year.  However, 4 out of 10 released prisoners commit a new crime or violate the terms of their release within three years because programs often fail to reintegrate the prisoners back into society.

It is estimated that the failure of successful rehabilitation for prisoners costs states about $50 billion every year.  

The grants were announced at the Correctional Educational Summit last week.  The Summit addressed ways confined youth and adults can reintegrate back into society.  Suggested improvements for reentry include support for education services, job training, and job searching during intake and prerelease.  Additionally, job search services need to target the demands of labor markets that don’t regard criminal history.  Lastly, reentry programs need to use technology to measure performance and outcomes and conduct evaluations.  

Attorney General Eric Holder stated: “Expanding access to education is a proven strategy for reducing recidivism and preventing crime.  By working together to support education and training programs for those rejoining our communities, the Departments of Justice and Education are helping to improve outcomes and ensure public safety.”  

Grant applications will be accepted by the Department of Education until December 26, 2012.  The Department of Education has announced that about two to four grants worth between $200,000 and $400,000 will be awarded.  Announcement of the awards will occur in January of 2013.  

Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, stated: “Promoting effective policies that offer education and workforce training will protect our communities and benefit our economy.”

Source: Department of Education