The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of approximately $12 million in grants to provide workforce development and support services for formerly incarcerated adult and youth females as they make the transition from justice facilities back to their communities.
"Communities benefit when formerly incarcerated individuals are able to smoothly and effectively reintegrate into their neighborhoods," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "The programs funded through today's grant announcement will make this transition easier, resulting in more stable families and brighter futures."
Grantees must provide participants with services including job training that will lead to credentials in high-demand industries; employment preparation; mentoring and assistance in connecting to supportive services such as housing, and treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues; and assistance with parenting and child reunification. While designed to expand opportunities for formerly incarcerated females, services funded by the grants also must be open to eligible formerly incarcerated males.
Reintegrating formerly incarcerated individuals is a government-wide effort supported by the Federal Interagency Re-entry Council. Chaired by the U.S. Department of Justice, the council brings together numerous federal agencies to advance policies and programs to make communities safer, assist individuals returning to communities from prison or jail in becoming productive taxpaying citizens, and save taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration.
"The Re-entry Council is making important progress in ensuring public safety and advancing community well-being," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "We applaud this Department of Labor investment in women who have been formerly incarcerated and are working to rebuild their lives. This is an opportunity to make a difference -- not only for these women, but also for their families, neighborhoods and communities."
Each grant applicant may submit one proposal for up to $1.5 million, with the amount requested depending on the number of participants to be served. This competition is open to any nonprofit organization with Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(3) status, unit of state or local government and Indian or Native American entity eligible for grants under Section 166 of the Workforce Investment Act.
Full eligibility information is included in the solicitation for grant applications, which will be published in the March 23 edition of the Federal Register and also can be viewed online at http://www.doleta.gov/grants/find_grants.cfm. Information about this and other Labor Department employment and training programs is available at http://www.doleta.gov.