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State makes big investment to help prisoners re-enter society

Delaware Public Media


Delaware is making its biggest investment into helping prisoners re-enter society in more than a decade.

The state is spending $2 million on 18 programs designed to help recently-released prisoners successfully reintegrate into society.

The money was competitively awarded to already-existing nonprofit organizations like the Sussex County program The Way Home.

That program works with inmates just prior to their release and then more intensely after they’ve been released.


"They work with them on the essentials of getting established again in a community, a place to live, clothing, retaining a job” said Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn.


He said former inmates enrolled in The Way Home have lower recidivism rates than the state average.


Right now, 66 percent of all former prisoners in Delaware are rearrested within three years. And that number is even higher for juveniles -80 percent.

Other programs receiving funding range from pre-release job training in construction and food service to post-release housing and therapy.

The plan is to invest in a wide range of programs and see which ones are the most successful, Denn said.


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