The Obama administration recently created the Second Chance Pell Grant program, which will give 12,000 inmates Pell grants to support their future education endeavors. This initiative is hoping to make prisoners more successful when they reenter their communities. Additionally, because having a criminal record typically disqualifies an individual to receive financial aid, this initiative is attempting to examine if an increase in available financial aid will increase overall participation in educational programs.
Many people argue against this prohibition of financial aid for people with criminal records, and support this initiative fully. Although, there will likely be push back from Republican politicians. Additionally, there is evidence from a study conducted by the RAND Corporation that shows that participation in an education program decreased the likelihood of recidivism after three years.
This program has been popular among educational institutions, with over 200 institutions signing up to participate in this program. Additionally, there are many other programs that are being introduced, including 64.5 million dollars in grants that assist in reentry initiatives, particularly, focusing on prevention of high-risk juveniles.
Another program focuses on young adults 18 to 24 reentering society, specifically focusing on employment. Similarly, another program focuses on the availability of mentoring and career training for youth ages 16-21. Many people recognize the need for reentry and prevention programs, but some critics suggest that people who end up in the system do not have the "first chance" many other people experience. This may suggest a need for a focus on additional prevention programs for at-risk youth. Read the Entire Article
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The Northern Zone Social Enterprise Hub at Ballymena’s Ecos Centre has now officially opened. The launching ceremony was carried out by Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland.