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For Immediate Release

March 24, 2003

Contact: Jeff Lyons
Public Information Officer
Phone: 603-271-5602

FEDERAL GRANT ALLOWS NH-DOC TO EASE YOUNGER OFFENDERS BACK INTO SOCIETY

(Concord, NH) New Hampshire Department of Corrections Commissioner Phil Stanley announced that the department is the recipient of a $1.8 million, 3-year federal grant for prisoner re-entry into the greater Manchester area. This will fund an after-care initiative aimed at lowering crime and preventing offenders from returning to prison.

The focus of this program is to combine supervision and services to help offenders become productive, responsible, and law-abiding citizens. It will also assist them in obtaining and retaining long-term employment, maintaining stable residence, and successfully addressing substance abuse issues and mental health needs.

Lowering recidivism is a key component of the project. Another goal is to increase participation of ex-offenders in the labor force, families, communities, schools, and religious institutions. Also steps will be taken to improve public safety, reduce the levels of drug use, improve worker productivity, enhance child development and parent-child relationships, and increase a civic sense among ex-offenders.

Eligible offenders will be those, ages 17-35, who were residing in Manchester at the time of their incarceration and who will be returning to Manchester when they are released.

"We recognize that 98 percent of all offenders incarcerated in the state prison will return to society. This program will build upon the rehabilitation efforts that were begun during the offender's incarceration," Commissioner Stanley said.

The New Hampshire Re-Entry Initiative is jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.

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