Obama announces plans to help former prisoners find jobs

Nov 06, 2015 President Barack Obama recently announced plans to help formerly incarcerated people reintegrate into society.

Speaking after the announcement, President Obama said:

“The problem we are trying to solve is not just to keep catching people and putting them back in jail. The problem we are trying to solve is giving people a foundation through which they can then become productive citizens,” Obama said during an appearance in in Newark, New Jersey where he unveiled several measures to assist former inmates in staying away from crime”

According to President Obama, the rehabilitation will include an $8 million federal education grants over three years for former inmates. Also there will be guidance on the use of arrest records in determining eligibility for federally assisted housing.

Obama also directed the Office of Personnel Management to take steps, where possible, to delay inquiries into criminal backgrounds until later in the hiring process.

“The federal government, I believe, should not use criminal history to screen out applicants before we even look at their qualifications. We can’t dismiss people out of hand simply because of a mistake they made in the past,”

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the United States accounts for about 25 percent of the world’s prison population.

Obama in July became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison. He afterwards called on Congress to pass sentencing reform that will reduce the number of people serving long sentences for non-violent drug crimes.

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