New York Times: Seeking the Key to Employment for Ex-Cons

Seeking the Key to Employment for Ex-Cons

With Newark’s unemployment rate stubbornly stuck at twice the state average of 4.9 percent — and criminal history and lack of education leaving many chronically unemployable — Mayor Cory A. Booker has tried to make prisoner re-entry a signature issue, aware that his twin promises of safety and economic vitality depend on it. He is part of a growing national movement of local and state politicians trying to tackle the problem; earlier this month, President Bush signed the Second Chance Act, allocating $165 million annually to their efforts.

“Up until now, the focus has been putting ex-offenders back in jail,” complained Fred Davie, president of Public/Private Ventures, a nonprofit group based in Philadelphia that has created prisoner rehabilitation programs in 15 cities and advised the Booker administration. “We need a national approach to what has become a national crisis.”

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Newarker, PCA Elder, Business Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

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