Obama aims to rehabilitate the formerly incarcerated

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is set to announce new actions Monday to rehabilitate and reintegrate formerly incarcerated citizens to their communities, in his latest push for criminal justice reform.

Obama will travel to Newark, New Jersey, to visit the Integrity House, a residential facility providing addiction treatment and recovery. Later the President will participate in a roundtable on prisoner re-entry into society at Rutgers University where he will deliver remarks highlighting the issue.

The President will announce new actions to promote rehabilitation and reintegration, including $8 million in education grants from the Department of Education and tech training and jobs for individuals with a criminal record.

Obama is also calling on Congress to “ban the box” on federal job applications that requires job applicants to state if they have a criminal record.

“Each year, more than 600,000 individuals are released from state and federal prisons,” the White House said in a statement. “Advancing policies and programs that enable these men and women to put their lives back on track and earn their second chance promotes not only justice and fairness, but also public safety.”

The Federal Bureau of Prisons announced in October that they would grant early release to about 6,000 inmates between October 30 and November 2.

The prisoners have served an average of nine years and were due to be released in about 18 months, according to a Justice Department official. Many were already in half-way houses.

This is the latest push for criminal just reform from the Obama administration. In July, Obama became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison and met with six inmates.

By Allie Malloy

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