FUNDING STREAMS AVAILABLE TO ASSIST
PEOPLE WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS
and local governments seeking funding and other types of assistance in
developing or expanding reentry programs can turn to a number of sources
depending on the program focus. This toolkit first lists a number of issue-specific
sources of assistance as well as additional sources of information. Following
the list is a description of each funding source.
and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI) directs funding toward
high-risk juveniles and adults returning to the community from the criminal
justice system. Although some SVORI funds are utilized for in-prison
services, SVORI also funds services and supervision during reentry.
Both state and local governments can apply for SVORI funds.
of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs developed the SVORI program
to assist communities in identifying gaps in their reentry strategies
and developing a vision for reentry that seeks to fill those gaps and
sustain the overall strategy. Communities are encouraged to use the
funding to enhance existing reentry strategies with training and technical
assistance that will build community capacity to effectively, safely,
and efficiently reintegrate people who are returning from involvement
in the criminal justice system.
National Institute of Corrections provides a number of training programs
to probation, parole and community corrections officers to help them
better assist people in the criminal justice system. The training services
often focus on the needs of individuals reentering society after incarceration.
For example, technical assistance is provided to corrections staff assisting
people with criminal records in gaining employment.
and Community Transition Training for Incarcerated Youth Offender program
provides grants to designated State Correctional Education Agencies
to establish postsecondary education or vocational training programs
for eligible incarcerated youthful offenders. Overseen by the Department
of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-free Schools, these grants
are intended to assist people with a criminal record who are under 25
years of age and within 5 years of their release.
Skills for State and Local Prisoners program provides financial assistance
for establishing and operating programs designed to reduce recidivism
through the development and improvement of life skills necessary for
reintegration of adult prisoners into society. Also a part of the Office
of Drug-free Schools’ Character, Civic, Correctional Education
initiative, the Life Skills for State and Local Prisoners program is
a discretionary grant program that provides funds for job training and
life skills training. State and local correctional agencies or state
and local correctional education agencies are eligible to apply for
Education Basic Grants to States program, administered by the Office
of Vocational and Adult Education, provides vocational-technical education
programs and services to youth and adults. State boards for career and
technical education are eligible to apply for these funds. Local educational
agencies and postsecondary institutions are also eligible to receive
sub-grants under this Basic Grants program. Although there is a limit
to the amount grantees can use for youth and adults in state correctional
institutions, the funding restrictions do not apply to money to programs
for people reentering from the criminal justice system.
Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a tax credit that functions as an incentive
to employers who hire people with certain criminal records. The credit
can provide up to $2,400 per person per year in tax breaks for a full-time
employer. The WOTC can also apply to an individual working part-time
or completing summer youth work.
is available to employers who employ people from one of eight targeted
groups, including "qualified ex-felons." A "qualified
ex-felon" is defined as an individual who (1) has a state or federal
felony conviction; (2) is a member of an economically disadvantaged
family and (3) is hired within one year of release from prison or from
date of conviction.
Tax Credit is a federal income tax credit that encourages employers
to hire "Long-term TANF Assistance Recipients," including
those with criminal records, who begin to work before January 1, 2006.
Established by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, this new tax credit
can reduce employers' federal tax liability by as much as $8,500 per
applies to any individual who has been certified by the "designated
local agency" as one who a) is a member of a family that: received
TANF or AFDC for at least the 18 consecutive months before the date
of hire, or b) had his or her TANF/AFDC eligibility expire under Federal
or State law after August 5, 1997, for individuals hired within 2 years
after their eligibility expired or; c) received TANF/AFDC for any 18-month
period, and who is hired within 2 years after the end of the earliest
Investment Act (WIA) provides workforce training and placement services
for a variety of clients, including individuals with criminal records.
Local WIA one-stops provide core services, intensive services, and training
services to eligible adults. All adults, including people with criminal
records, are eligible for core services. The WIA Youth Activities program
is also available to offer similar services for low-income youth.
is a three-year, $22.5 million program to assist faith-based and community
programs that provide mentoring and other transition services for men
and women returning from prison. The Ready4Work program receives funding
through the Departments of Labor and Justice.
The Compassion Capital Fund (CCF), overseen by HHS’s Administration
for Children and Families and the White House Office of Faith-Based
Initiatives, are aimed at helping faith-based and community groups build
capacity and improve their ability to provide social services to those
in need. The CCF administers two grant programs, the Demonstration Program
and the Targeted Capacity-Building Program. The Demonstration Program,
which allocates nearly all of the CCF funds, supports intermediary organizations
that provide faith-based and community organizations with training,
technical assistance, and capacity-building sub-awards. The Targeted
Capacity-Building Program, also referred to as the “mini-grant
program,” directly funds faith-based and community organizations
with one time $50,000 awards to build their capacity to deliver services
to various populations including at-risk youth and the homeless.
Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Program, which replaced the federal
welfare system, provides assistance and work opportunities to needy
families by granting states the federal funds and wide flexibility to
develop and implement their own welfare programs.
funding announcements are made daily in the Federal Register. The online
Federal Register also allows individuals to sign-up to receive the Register’s
electronic index daily.
is a newly formed online database of federal grant opportunities. Through
this centralized website of federal government funding sources, an individual
can browse through grants in several searchable databases, access grant
applications and apply for these grants online. http://www.grants.gov
published by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS),
is a bi-weekly electronic newsletter with links to full-text documents
on a variety of topics in the criminal justice field, including funding. https://puborder.ncjrs.org/secure/register/register.asp
an electronic newsletter published by the Office of Juvenile Justice
and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), announces the arrival of new publications
and other newsworthy events, and offers updates on the latest juvenile
justice information from OJJDP and the field. http://www.puborder.ncjrs.org/listservs/subscribe_JuvJust.asp
State Vocational Rehabilitation Service Program provides grants to state
vocational rehabilitation agencies for training and job placement for
individuals with disabilities, including people with criminal records.
EQUIVALENT TO WORK OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT
number of states offer a tax credit to business owners who hire people
with criminal records. Similar to the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit
Program, these state tax incentives support the reentry of those who
are trying to return to the job market in order to support their families
and rejoin their communities.
states – California, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland and Texas –
currently provide state income tax credits to employers who hire people
with criminal records. Additional information about these states’
tax credit programs can be found through the following websites:
Office of Justice Programs website includes links to the state departments
of corrections and education, description of state and local reentry
funding grantees, and local reentry-related organizations and resources.