COLUMBIA —A grant from the U.S. Justice Department will soon provide more resources to former inmates looking for jobs after prison.
Without the grant, the current program would not be able to accept new participants after its current funding is scheduled to end in September.
The state Department of Corrections applied for the grant in June, according to Public Information Officer Angie Morfeld. To get the funding, the department must provide a 50 percent match of the Second Chance Act grant.
In total, the program could receive around $519,000.
How the grant will be used
With the new funding, the court will be able to hire one full-time reintegration coordinator. The grant also includes funds to hire two part-time staff members who will oversee probation case management and job readiness.
The grant includes incentives for employers who hire program participants.
Another stipend included in the grant will offer recently released inmates compensation for community service while they search for a job.
“Employment is highly correlated with ex-offenders' success and ability to remain in the community as contributing members,” said Kathy Lloyd, Boone County court administrator.
Funds will also be used for treatment services and housing needs.
Representatives from the program, the Office of State Courts Administrator and the Office of Corrections will meet next week to finalize details and coordinate how the grant will be implemented.
Lloyd said the federal money is expected by Oct. 1.