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ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER CONVENES INAUGURAL CABINET-LEVEL REENTRY COUNCIL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                      
AG
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2011                                                  (202) 514-2007
WWW.JUSTICE.GOV    TDD (202) 514-1888

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER CONVENES INAUGURAL CABINET-LEVEL REENTRY COUNCIL

 

Interagency Meeting Focuses on Reducing Recidivism, Saving Taxpayer Dollars, Making Communities Safer  

 WASHINGTON
– Attorney General Eric Holder today convened the inaugural meeting of
the Cabinet-level “Reentry Council” in Washington to identify and to
advance effective public safety and prisoner reentry strategies.


           In addition to the Attorney General, the council includes
Departments of Education Secretary Arne Duncan; Health and Human
Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack;
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar; Housing and Urban Development Secretary
Shaun Donovan; Labor Secretary Hilda Solis; and Veterans Affairs
Secretary Eric Shinseki.  Members also include Commissioner of the
Social Security Administration, Michael Astrue; Director of the Office
of National Drug Control Policy, R. Gil Kerlikowske; Director of the
White House Domestic Policy Council, Melody Barnes; Executive Director
of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships,
Joshua DuBois; and Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission, Jacqueline Berrien.

The
council will address short-term and long-term goals through enhanced
communication, coordination and collaboration across federal agencies.
The mission of the council is threefold: to make communities safer by
reducing recidivism and victimization; to assist those returning from
prison and jail in becoming productive, tax paying citizens; and to save
taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of
incarceration.

“Reentry
provides a major opportunity to reduce recidivism, save taxpayer
dollars and make our communities safer,” said Attorney General Holder.
 “More than two million people are behind bars, and 95 percent of them
will be released back into their communities.  By developing effective,
evidence-based reentry programs, we can improve public safety and
community well-being.”

Among
its goals, the Reentry Council will meet semi-annually to leverage
resources across agencies to reduce recidivism and victimization;
identify evidence-based practices that advance the council’s mission;
promote changes to federal statutes, policies and practices that focus
on reducing crime; and identifyfederal policy opportunities and barriers
to improve outcomes for the reentry community.


       The council will be supported by an interagency staff group from
16 federaldepartments and office. Since first convening in September
2010, the group has produced a collaborative “Inventory of Federal
Resources Focusing on Prisoner Reentry at the State and Local Levels”
and has worked with Justice Department grantee, the National Reentry
Resource Center, to succinctly map out the various investments directed
to the reentry population from across the administration (www.nationalreentryresourcecenter.org/national-criminal-justice-initiatives-map).

In
Fiscal Year 2010, the Department of Justice awarded $100 million to
support 178 state and local reentry grants to provide a wide range of
services.   

       More information about reentry issues is at nationalreentryresourcecenter.org/.