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New Tools to Support Reentry for Previously Incarcerated Youth & Adults

As part of National Reentry Week, the U.S. government announced $5.7 million in grants and a new toolkit aimed at helping previously incarcerated youth and adults transition back into the general population.

The United States Department of Education in partnership with the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention announced $5.7 million in grants and an online toolkit to improve outcomes for students involved in the criminal justice system.  

The announcement is a part of the Obama Administration’s National Reentry Week. Both the grants and toolkit were created to promote access to correctional education and reentry services for former criminals, “thereby building stronger, safer communities and families,” according to a news release.

The reentry grant program will include career and technical education programs, reentry services and employment training opportunities. There are four grantees:

  • Portland Community College in Oregon;

  • Saint Paul Public Schools in Minnesota;

  • Shelby County Board of Education in Tennessee; and

  • The School District of Philadelphia.

Additionally, the Reentry Education Tool Kit, and corresponding report, will provide educators and community members with resources that highlight the five key components of a successful reentry system:

  • Program infrastructure;

  • Strategic partnerships;

  • Education services;

  • Transition processes; and

  • Sustainability.

More than 94 percent of incarcerated adults identified education as a key to reentry, according to a study. Having access to the skills they need to successfully reenter the community is vital to preventing them from re-entering the criminal justice system.

“Reentry is a critical moment that requires planning, support and preparation,” said John B. King, secretary of education. “We need to help ensure formerly incarcerated young people and adults can return to their communities successfully. We need a community working together to provide job training, social and emotional support and a concerted effort to ensure success. Not only is this the right thing to do for families and for children, it also makes smart economic sense for our country.”

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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