|HUD No. 16-008
Charles McNally (212) 542-7647
Olga Alvarez (212) 542-7142
April 26, 2016
HUD AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARD $300,000 TO HELP JUSTICE-INVOLVED YOUTH IN NEW YORK FIND JOBS AND HOUSING
Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program will reduce barriers to housing, jobs and education
NEW YORK - Furthering the Obama Administration's commitment to helping young people involved in the justice system find jobs and housing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) today awarded $300,000 to Public Housing Authorities and legal service providers in Syracuse, Albany and New York City to address the challenges justice-involved individuals face in their quest for work and a place to call home.
Through the Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program (JRAP), funded by DOJ's Second Chance Act funds, HUD and DOJ are teaming up to help young Americans who are reintegrating back into their communities and trying to establish a stable future. JRAP funding was awarded to Public Housing Authorities and partnering nonprofit legal service organizations with experience providing legal services to juveniles.
"Connecting 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 HUD Secretary Julián 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 U.S. Attorney General Loretta 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."
"Transitioning from the justice system back into society is difficult enough for individuals who have had experience navigating through the world as an adult," said Holly Leicht, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. "For youth who entered the system as minors, that transition is even more challenging. This funding will help youth in Syracuse, Albany, and New York City get a fresh start with the support they need to succeed."
"Re-entry programs are among the most sensible and economical investments we can make in our criminal justice system, for they have been shown to reduce recidivism," said US Attorney Richard Hartunian. "Education and employment are the engines for successful re-entry, and these federal funds will fuel programs that help young offenders returning to Syracuse become positive forces in our community rather than revolving door statistics whose future includes more jail."
Having a juvenile or a criminal record can severely limit a person's ability to seek higher education, find good employment and secure affordable housing. Today, there are nearly 55,000 individuals under age 21 in juvenile justice facilities, and approximately 185,000 young adults aged 18 to 24 in state and federal prisons. President Obama and members of his Cabinet, through the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, are taking steps to ensure those exiting the justice system become productive, law-abiding citizens rather than being hampered by their juvenile records for the rest of their lives. Today's announcement is consistent with HUD's recently released guidance on how Fair Housing Act standards apply to the use of criminal records by providers of housing, and recent guidance for Public Housing Authorities and owners of federally assisted housing on excluding the use of arrest records in housing decisions.
To help alleviate collateral consequences associated with a juvenile or criminal record, JRAP assists young people up to age 24 residing in public housing, or who would be residing in public housing but for their record, by:
- Expunging, sealing, and/or correcting juvenile or adult records, as permitted by state law;
- Assisting targeted youth in mitigating/preventing collateral consequences such as reinstating revoked or suspended drivers' licenses;
- Counseling regarding legal rights and obligations in searching for employment;
- Providing guidance for readmission to school; and
- Creating or modifying child support orders and other family law services.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.
You can also connect with HUD on social media and follow Secretary Castro on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.