Grants for Ex-Felons
It can be extremely difficult for someone released from prison to transition back into society. With job applications asking if you are a felon but not asking the circumstances, even the most minor of offenses can preclude you from being considered for employment at many companies. Lucky in recent years more of an effort has been made by government to aid ex-felons. There are state and federal grants for ex-felons.
Federal Programs. One of the most recent programs was put into law by President Bush in April, 2008 – The Second Chance Act is a program providing federal grants for assistance to ex-convicts. Information on this Act can be found at http://www.nationalreentryresourcecenter.org/about/second-chance-act
State Programs. Each state has different programs in place to assess the needs of ex-felons. Some websites exist to provide links to programs in each state. One such website is http://felonsofamerica.com/staserv.html . This site also provides information on federal services and has a newsletter of information.
Record Removal Services. The other route to go for an ex-convict is to look into record sealing, expungement or a pardon. While each state has different regulations and will not apply for convictions related to pedophilia, rape, sexual assault, polygamy or hate crimes, it is worth looking into especially if you are still being haunted by a record over a decade ago. To get assistance in this regard and review your state’s considerations, one site you can go to is http://www.recordsremoval.com/ .
Reentry Programs. Various programs exist not just for grants but for the many issues that former convicts face upon reentry into society. One such program launched on October 6, 2009 is the National Reentry Resource Center. This was established by the Second Chance Act mentioned earlier. For information on what it provides, go to http://www.nationalreentryresourcecenter.org/
Employment Services. Check out ex-felon employment services that specifically aid job seekers with criminal records. Since there are tax credits for employers that hire ex-offenders, sometimes it just takes finding a company that knows about these credits and wishes to qualify for them. One network that assists with job opportunities is the national H.I.R.E. Network; review their website http://www.hirenetwork.org/index.html .
With approximately 9 million people being released from jails every year, of which approximately 650,000 are from state and federal prisons, organizations are working to develop policies and practices that will increase the probability that these returning persons will make successful transitions back into their communities. If you are having difficulty, spend a bit of time on the computer and telephone to find out what is available in your area.
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