A number of state programs which provide job training for incarcerated individuals have been selected for federal funding. One of the final initiatives of the Obama administration, the programs work closely with individuals close to being released by preparing them for eventual employment before they are actually released. Additionally, employees of the Linking to Employment Activities programs work closely with local small business owners and potential employers to help create long-lasting business relationships and facilitate the job application process. Those who participate in the program will learn how to hold a 9-to-5 job in addition to the actual job. A total of $5 million will be awarded to these programs, 41 in total. Public officials and employees alike have agreed that the goal is to curb recidivism and prepare individuals for life outside prison. A lack of funding for programs has resulted in a startlingly high recidivism rate across the country, causing many to question the effectiveness of incarceration. Initial reports from participants in these programs are hopeful and suggest positive change for the American prison system.
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