Bureau of Prisons Launches 'Ready to Work' Program

"Ready to Work" seeks to secure every offender reentering his or her community an opportunity to quickly find work. This includes the approximately 2,200 inmates scheduled for early release due to good conduct on July 19, after changes in the First Step Act become effective.

The federal Bureau of Prisons on June 13 announced a new program, "Ready to Work," to work directly with interested employers seeking to hire newly released inmates. The bureau wants to connect employers directly to inmates to improve reentry outcomes, at a time when employers in some industries are struggling to find enough qualified employees.

"The Justice Department is committed to fully implementing the First Step Act," said Attorney General William Barr. "This includes helping offenders successfully reintegrate into the community – a critical factor in preventing recidivism and, in turn, reducing the number of crime victims. Finding gainful employment is an important part of that process."

The act was passed in 2018.

"Ready to Work" seeks to secure every offender reentering his or her community an opportunity to quickly find work. This includes the approximately 2,200 inmates scheduled for early release due to good conduct on July 19, after changes in the First Step Act become effective.

BOP has long recognized that inmates benefit from a variety of self-improvement programs. Federal inmates participate in vocational training, educational classes, and skills groups, all of which contribute to employment readiness and help to develop high-quality employees. "Newly released individuals can provide an untapped source of qualified employees for businesses having difficulty hiring during this strong economy," said Acting BOP Director Hugh Hurwitz. "The BOP is working to strengthen existing, and build new, partnerships with businesses across the country to ensure that inmates have solid employment opportunities upon release."

Every day, BOP releases hundreds of individuals into communities throughout the country. Prior to their release, many of these individuals will have utilized BOP occupational training programs that produce skilled workers in a variety of professional fields, such as HVAC, plumbing, masonry, aquiculture, computers and technology, carpentry, cosmetology, medical billing, and food preparation. Even those who do not qualify as skilled workers will have participated in BOP educational classes and self-improvement programming designed to improve community reintegration.

To learn more about "Ready to Work," including BOP's employment readiness programs, or to begin working with the agency to hire newly released individuals, employers may contact BOP's Reentry Services Division by emailing BOP-RSD/NationalReentryAffairs~@bop.gov.

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