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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Gilbert Moore

September 21, 2004 (202) 616-1728

EX-OFFENDER REENTRY PROGRAMS FUNDED IN FIVE CITIES

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) today announced grants to help five cities continue their efforts to successfully re-integrate ex-offenders back into the community. The $1.2 million in grants was awarded to organizations in Boston, Detroit, Kansas City, Oakland, and Washington, D.C. under the Justice Department's Value-Based Reentry Initiative (VBRI) grant program.

Funding for the program comes from a partnership between the Department of Justice's COPS Office and Office of Justice Programs, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The funds will support demonstration projects in each of the five cities that received grants. The VBRI program provides resources that support partnerships between faith-based organizations, community groups, law enforcement agencies, and other criminal justice entities. These organizations will select and train mentor teams that will then assist returning offenders with finding services and resources such as job training, housing, and health care, as well as provide critical support in negotiating the social challenges associated with reentry.

"These grants will help communities assist ex-offenders with their transition from being incarcerated to becoming law-abiding citizens," said COPS Director Carl R. Peed. "There are 2.1 million offenders in America's prisons, and the overwhelming majority of them will return to their communities upon release. These grants will help build local capacity to receive ex-offenders, and ultimately the grants will help reduce recidivism and keep communities safe."

Today's Value Based Reentry Initiative is one of many programs administered by COPS to advance community policing. COPS supports innovative community policing initiatives, funds the purchase of crime fighting technology, provides training and technical assistance resources, and funds the hiring of local law enforcement officers. Since 1994, COPS has invested $10.6 billion in support of state and local law enforcement agencies, including more than 13,000 grants to hire over 118,000 officers.

For additional information about COPS:

 

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