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ETA News Release: [01/15/2009]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan or Terry Shawn
Phone Number: (202) 693-5052 or x4676
Release Number: 09-0061-NAT


U.S. Department of Labor announces nearly $5.5 million in awards under President's Prisoner Re-entry Initiative


Grants made to faith-based and community organizations in 18 areas nationwide

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today 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.

"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 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.

Today's announcement follows 30 awards granted in November 2005, and 23 projects chosen last April. As a result, FBCOs and their partners have enrolled more than 17,000 ex-offenders in programs, and ex-offenders have been placed in more than 11,000 jobs. Those entering PRI programs have a recidivism rate of 15 percent, or almost two-thirds below the 44 percent national average. For more information on the Prisoner Re-entry Initiative, please see http://www.dol.gov/cfbci/reentry.htm.

Editor's Note: A list of award-winning faith-based and community organizations is below.


2009 President's Prisoner Re-entry Initiative
Award-Winning Organizations

Award-Winning Organization

Target County

State

Amount

The Dannon Project

Jefferson County

Ala.

$304,117

Arizona Women's Education and Employment (AWEE)

Maricopa County

Ariz.

$304,117

Volunteers of America of Greater Los Angeles

Los Angeles County

Calif.

$304,117

The Empowerment Program Inc.

Denver County

Colo.

$304,117

Career Resources Inc.

Fairfield County

Conn.

$304,117

Connections Community Support Programs Inc.

New Castle County

Dela.

$304,117

Chicago Christian Industrial League

Cook County

Ill.

$304,116

Blue Jacket Inc.

Allen County

Ind.

$304,116

One Church One Offender of Louisiana

Caddo and Bossier parishes

La.

$304,116

Episcopal Community Services of Maryland Inc.

Baltimore County

Md.

$304,116

Flint Area Specialized Employment Services

Genesee County

Mich.

$304,116

MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries

Greene County

Mo.

$304,116

Las Vegas-Clark County Urban League

Clark County

Nev.

$304,116

Helping Arms Inc.

Mercer County

N.J.

$304,116

Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa

Tulsa County

Okla.

$304,116

Connection Training Services

Philadelphia County

Pa.

$304,116

Project Return Inc.

Davidson County

Tenn

$304,116

Word of Hope Ministries Inc.

Milwaukee County

Wi.

$304,116

TOTAL = $ 5,474,094