Justice Department Aims to Get Jobs for Released Inmates More Easily with New “Ready to Work” Initiative
Yesterday June 13, 2019 the United States Department of Justice announced a new initiative through their Bureau of Prisons (BOP) agency, entitled the “Ready to Work” initiative (1). The “Ready to Work” initiative “seeks to connect employers directly to inmates to improve reentry outcomes” as well as providing inmates with “educational classes and self-improvement programming designed to improve community reintegration and contribute to employment success” (1). The program’s introduction is part of the Justice Department’s enactment of the First Step Act which passed in Congress May of 2018, and President Trump signed into law in December of the same year (2). The First Step Act, among its other criminal justice reform goals, aims to “expand evidence-based recidivism reduction programs and productive activities,… provide equipment to facilitate vocational training or employment opportunities for prisoners,… employ prisoners,… assist prisoners in prerelease custody or supervised release in finding employment,… [and provide connections with] organizations that will deliver workforce development and training” (2). On the initiatives release, the Attorney General William Barr said “[t]he Justice Department is committed to fully implementing the First Step Act,… [and] helping offenders successfully reintegrate into the community” (1).