In an effort to reduce housing and employment barriers for justice-involved youth, HUD and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced $1.75 million in grants to public housing agencies (PHAs) that have partnered with nonprofit legal service organizations to help young people address the collateral consequences associated with their juvenile or criminal record. There are currently nearly 55,000 people under 21 years old confined in juvenile justice facilities, and about 185,000 people between the ages of 18 and 24 are incarcerated in state and federal prisons.
Under the Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program (JRAP), young people under the age of 25 who reside in public housing or could reside in public housing but for their record, will receive assistance to expunge, seal or correct their criminal records so that they have better access to housing and jobs. The program will also provide counseling on young people’s legal rights when searching for employment and guidance on how they can return to school. HUD and DOJ awarded grants to eighteen PHAs, including the New York City Housing Authority, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the Philadelphia Housing Authority.
HUD Secretary Julián Castro and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant awards in a news conference held during National Reentry Week, April 24-30. "Reconnecting young people who've paid their debt to society to decent jobs and housing allows them to turn the page and become active, productive members of their communities," said Secretary Castro. "These grants offer a helping hand to those who deserve a second chance so they have a real opportunity to reach their full potential."
"The future of our nation depends upon the future of our young people - including young people who have become involved with our justice system," said Attorney General Lynch. "By helping justice-involved youth find decent jobs and stable housing after they return home, these critical grants provide a foundation for a fresh start and offer a path towards productivity and purpose. In the months ahead, the Department of Justice will continue helping justice-involved youth enrich their lives and improve our country."
Read the HUD press release, which includes all the PHAs who have been awarded grants, at: http://1.usa.gov/1SIcXXZ
Read summaries of each PHA’s JRAP program at: http://1.usa.gov/24if3c0