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Monday, January 26, 2009


Connecticut Benefits From President’s Prisoner Re-entry Initiative

The U.S. Department of Labor announced nearly $5.5 million in awards to 18 faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) as part of the President's Prisoner Re-entry Initiative (PRI). Each chosen group was awarded more than $300,000. Connecticut jobs will be helped with an award presented to Career Resources Inc., in Fairfield County.

"These $5.5 million in grants will advance local faith-based and community organization efforts to equip ex-prisoners with basic job skills, counseling and opportunities to earn an honest living in our communities," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.

In spring 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded grants to selected state correctional agencies to provide pre-release services to exiting prisoners. The Department of Labor, in turn, announced a competition in early September to follow through with post-release services for those same newly released civilians. Each of today's award-winning organizations will serve at least 100 recently released individuals during the program's first year.

"These faith-based and community organizations will partner with ex-offenders and equip them with the skills necessary to compete as members of the modern-day workforce," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Brent R. Orrell. "Steady employment, mentoring and moral support help break the cycle of despair and disordered, often criminal, lives."

Introduced by former President Bush in his 2004 "State of the Union" address, the Prisoner Re-entry Initiative helps strengthen urban communities and assist ex-prisoners re-entering the community through an employment-based program that incorporates mentoring, job training and other services.


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