Little Rock, Arkansas – In Arkansas, a program to assist people who have served time in prison in getting back on their feet is about to grow.
It was revealed on Monday that Goodwill Industries of Arkansas had been awarded a $749,973 grant to develop its Transitional Employment Opportunity program. The funding, which comes from the US Department of Justice, will be distributed over the course of the following three years.
In 2009, Goodwill launched its TEO program, which offered career and life skills training to both men and women who had just been released from jail. According to Goodwill, the award will enable the program’s expansion to 20 locations throughout the state, supporting 900 customers.
“This grant will not only impact the individuals who receive our TEO program services, it will also produce a ripple effect on their families, local communities, Arkansas’ workforce and economy that is nearly impossible to measure,” Goodwill Industries of Arkansas President and CEO Brian Marsh said. “Transforming lives is an effort that takes collaboration among a number of stakeholders, including our local and state governments, and other non-profits that place a priority on education, training, and employment.”
TEO received letters of support, one of which was written by Congressman French Hill.
“The Goodwill Industries of Arkansas continues to have a profound impact in our communities through their efforts to provide opportunities to individuals upon their reentry to society,” Hill said. “These opportunities provide professional skills training and sets regimens and routines while reducing the rate of recidivism. I was proud to support their application for this grant and look forward to the good work GIA continues to do within our immediate community.”
Arkansas is making progress in reducing recidivism. The state now has a 47% recidivism rate, which means that 47% of state prisoners return to jail after being released. The percentage was 58% in 2013.
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