White House Announces New Actions to Help the Formerly-Incarcerated
NOV 3, 2015 – President Obama announced yesterday that he is taking measures to help the formerly-incacerated reintegrate back into society, such as “banning the box” on federal job applications (check here if you have been incarcerated before), grants for education, tech training, housing assistance and sealing and expunging juvenile records and more. All of this will help the formerly-incarcerated at least get their foot in the door, and gives them a fighting chance. President Obama’s plan will have 7 major areas:
- Adult Reentry Education Grants. The Department of Education will award up to $8 million (over 3 years) to 9 communities for the purpose of supporting educational attainment and reentry success for individuals who have been incarcerated.
- Arrests Guidance for Public and other HUD-Assisted Housing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will release guidance today to Public Housing Authorities and owners of HUD-assisted housing regarding the use of arrests in determining who can live in HUD-assisted properties.
- Banning the Box in Federal Employment. The President has called on Congress to follow a growing number of states, cities, and private companies that have decided to “ban the box” on job applications.
- TechHire: Expanding tech training and jobs for individuals with criminal records. As a part of President Obama’s TechHire initiative, over 30 communities are taking action – working with each other and national employers – to expand access to tech jobs for more Americans with fast track training like coding boot camps and new recruitment and placement strategies.
- Establishing a National Clean Slate Clearinghouse. In the coming weeks, the Department of Labor and Department of Justice will partner to establish a National Clean Slate Clearinghouse to provide technical assistance to local legal aid programs, public defender offices, and reentry service providers to build capacity for legal services needed to help with record-cleaning, expungement, and related civil legal services.
- Permanent Supportive Housing for the Reentry Population through Pay for Success. The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the Department of Justice have launched an $8.7 million demonstration grant to address homelessness and reduce recidivism among the justice-involved population. The Pay for Success (PFS) Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration will test cost-effective ways to help persons cycling between the criminal justice and homeless service systems, while making new Permanent Supportive Housing available for the reentry population.
- Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program Awards to Support Public Housing Residents. With funding provided by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at the Department of Justice, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide $1.75 million to aid eligible public housing residents who are under the age of 25 to expunge or seal their records in accordance with their applicable state laws.
To read about the White House’s new actions for the formerly-incarcerated, go to WhiteHouse.gov here: