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Recent Posts

Washington State Works to Improve Employment Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth

Washington State Works to Improve Employment Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth

Washington is one state that has been deliberate in its efforts to promote job readiness and vocational success for its incarcerated youth, many of whom are 18 to 20 years of age. From October 2013 to September 2015, Washington State’s Juvenile Rehabilitation division—which operates juvenile correctional facilities across the state under the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)—administered a Job Readiness to Employment Project called Manufacturing Academy, made possible through a 2013 Second Chance Act Juvenile Demonstration grant.

U.S. Attorney General Lynch Emphasizes Access to IDs for People Leaving Prisons in #ReentryWeek Announcement

U.S. Attorney General Lynch Emphasizes Access to IDs for People Leaving Prisons in #ReentryWeek Announcement

Kicking off the country’s first-ever National #ReentryWeek, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch invited states to partner with the U.S. Department of Justice in helping people returning home from federal prisons to “turn the page” on their criminal justice involvement. In letters to all 50 governors, Lynch urged state governments to work with the DOJ to enable people leaving federal prisons to use their Bureau of Prisons inmate ID card and official release documentation to secure state-issued IDs.

HUD Says Denying Rentals to People with Criminal Records May Violate Fair Housing Act

HUD Says Denying Rentals to People with Criminal Records May Violate Fair Housing Act

On April 4, the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued “Guidance on Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records,” which states that the broad exclusion of people with criminal records in the sale or rental of housing or other real estate transactions may be in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Announcements

Apply Now: 2016 School-Justice Partnerships Certificate Program

Apply Now: 2016 School-Justice Partnerships Certificate Program

The program is designed to provide school and district staff, court professionals, juvenile justice, law enforcement, child welfare and other child serving leaders with the knowledge and understanding necessary to address the educational and related needs of children known to, or at risk of entering, the juvenile justice system.

Webinars

Reentry Housing Options for Sex Offenders

Reentry Housing Options for Sex Offenders

In this webinar, presenters review the latest findings on the relationship between improved housing stability and reduced recidivism for registered sex offenders; share stories from two communities that have found effective solutions to housing registered sex offenders; and discuss the numerous barriers to developing housing options for registered sex offenders and strategies for overcoming them.

Sharing Information between Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Systems

Sharing Information between Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Systems

This webinar was presented to Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program and Second Chance Act Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Disorders grantees discussed strategies for developing information sharing collaborations between criminal justice and behavioral health systems.

Publications

Recent headlines

Job Training Helps Female Inmates Prepare for Life After Prison

Each year more than 600,000 individuals are released from federal and state prisons. During National Reentry Week,  the Department of Justice has been highlighting ways to help prisoners prepare for their eventual transition to the outside world.

‘Ban the Box’ Goes to College

Opponents say the question—which requires prospective students to check a box if they have criminal histories—is an undue barrier that harms certain groups of students.

Strengthening Communities and Supporting Survivors in Reentry

As we come to the end of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the Justice Department’s inaugural National Reentry Week, I am humbled and inspired by the department’s–and the entire Obama Administration’s–commitment to inclusive criminal justice reform efforts. For example, last month the White House convened a group of justice-involved women and girls, family members of incarcerated individuals, women serving in law enforcement and other advocates to talk about women’s access to justice.

Lawyers and Libraries: A Natural Fit

This week, Maryland Legal Aid and the Baltimore Library hosted a “Lawyer in the Library” event in honor of the Justice Department’s inaugural National Reentry Week. My colleagues at the Office for Access to Justice and I had the privilege of attending this event, which served more than two dozen individuals during the two-hour period. Events such as these continue to raise awareness about the significant support that civil legal aid provides to low-income and vulnerable populations, including those that are justice-involved.

NY Gov. Cuomo: Give Medicaid to Inmates Prior to Release

The Democratic governor says too many inmates leave prison with serious mental health and addiction challenges and that helping them get the care they need improves their chances of successfully re-entering society.

“Banning the Box” in Federal Hiring

Recently the Office of Personnel Management issued a proposed rule that would ensure that applicants with a criminal history have a fair shot to compete for Federal jobs. The rule would effectively “ban the box” for a significant number of positions in the Federal Government by delaying the point in the hiring process when agencies can inquire about an applicant’s criminal history until a conditional offer is made. This change prevents candidates from being eliminated before they have a chance to demonstrate their qualifications.

The White House: Promoting Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

America is a Nation of second chances. Promoting the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals who have paid their debt to society makes communities safer by reducing recidivism and victimization; assists those who return from prison, jail, or juvenile justice facilities to become productive citizens; and saves taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration.