The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded a total of $12,096,172 in grants to nine nonprofit organizations across the country to provide critical employment and support services for previously incarcerated female adults and youth as they make the transition back into their communities.
"This is a great opportunity for these women and girls to turn their lives around," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "These federal grants will help them obtain the job training and support services they need to positively contribute to their communities and their families."
Seven grantees have been selected to work with adults and two to work with youth. The funds will be used to provide services including job training that leads to credentials in high-demand industries; employment preparation; mentoring; supportive services such as housing, and substance abuse and mental health treatment; family counseling; and assistance with parenting and child reunification.
Providing guidance and support in addition to job training gives previously incarcerated women the stability necessary to improve their educational and employment outcomes, including increasing high school graduation rates, improving literacy and math skills, and entering college and/or other postsecondary training and employment.
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 and assist individuals returning to communities from prison or jail in becoming productive, taxpaying citizens.
According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, women accounted for 25.5 percent of all arrests in 2010, including 19.5 percent of arrests for violent crime and 37.6 percent of arrests for property crimes. Over the past 10 years, arrests of men declined by 6.8 percent while arrests of women increased by 10.5 percent.
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