Federal Grant to Boost Re-Entry Jobs Program

(INDIANAPOLIS) – If you go to prison, do your time and get out, you’ve got to pay fines and fees and visit your probation officer. Sometimes that makes it tough to work. A company in Indianapolis is helping people who have been in prison work and also meet all their requirements.

“It’s very difficult for high-risk people to be able to work in the mainstream economy because they have to leave for drug tests, theft class, anger management class, they have to pay their ankle bracelet fees, they have to do home detention monitorings,” said Gregg Keesling, with the Indianapolis Career Pathways Collaborative, re-established Wednesday in the capital city, with a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Labor.

“It’s very hard for a regular employer to hire an individual and then say, I’ll let you off Tuesday and you can come back Thursday and basically work at will,” Keesling explained to Inside Indiana Business.

He said the Collaborative has come up with a way to help satisfy employers and help the high-risk offenders keep from being violated and going back to prison, if they haven’t committed another crime.

“We help monitor the oversight requirements. We’re helping people know, ‘Hey it’s time to go to drug glass; you’ve got to clock out. Can we get your probation officer to come and visit you here?’ So we’re helping them manage their re-entry.”