For Immediate Release
September 17, 2002
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Moore said today 4,185 inmates have taken advantage of Project Re-Connect, a transition program designed to help them find jobs when they are released from prison.
"During FY 2001, nearly 27,000 inmates were released from Florida state prisons," Moore said. "Nationwide, approximately 95 percent of currently incarcerated inmates eventually will be released to society. We hope they don't come back to prison. Their ability to find gainful employment will increase that likelihood."
Moore said Project Re-Connect helps eligible inmates find employment upon their release and also works with employers to develop job opportunities. He said Re-Connect staff conduct mock job fairs and career exploration seminars at correctional institutions around the state. Events such as these help inmates gain job search skills and expose employers to potential employees during the interview process.
Moore said Senate Bill 912, which Governor Bush signed into law in July 2001, created the Bureau of Transition Services within the Office of Program, Transition and Post-release Services. The Bureau has the responsibility of preparing inmates to function successfully in society after prison. This entails both pre-release and post-release services.
Six full-time staff members work with both community and business leaders to help inmates secure quality employment upon release. In addition, Moore said, they also refer participants to other goods and services as needed to re-establish themselves within the community.
Project Re-Connect currently serves 50 facilities statewide, including major institutions, annexes, and work camps.