Helping returning citizens join the workforce

WORKFORCE | Finding a job within the first two months of release from a correctional facility cuts down recidivism dramatically. The Greater Baltimore Committee has released a new report it hopes will help Maryland returning citizens find work. The report recommends different initiatives for businesses, nonprofits and government agencies. (Baltimore Sun, 12/8)

The coalition proposed the state establish an Office of Re-entry within the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to coordinate services for inmates before release.

A “peer network” should be set up as well, the report said, staffed by ex-offenders who would help former prisoners find housing, vocational training, child care, jobs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment. The report suggested the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation should coordinate with the corrections department to align prison workforce training with employers needs.

-Maryland Governor Hogan has proposed an alternative paid sick leave bill (Bethesda Beat, 12/7)

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | A young mother moves into her new apartment after graduating from Sasha Bruce Youthwork’s transitional housing program (WaPo, 12/8)

EDUCATION | Elementary school children in Maryland may soon be allowed to bring their cell phones to school (WaPo, 12/7)

SAFETY | One Year After Launching Vision Zero, D.C. Sees No Reduction In Traffic Fatalities (WAMU, 12/7)

ENVIRONMENT | ‘Flushable’ wipes might need to meet a new standard for D.C. toilets (WaPo, 12/7)

-The Annie E. Casey Foundation, with the help of the Foundation Center, has launched an online resource tool featuring data on disconnected youth. The collection includes reports, case studies, and insights focused on the challenges these youth face. (PND, 12/6)

-The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation has launched a newsletter to better inform its partners on its work at the federal level and how that impacts and supports communities across the country. Read the lastest issue here

INNOVATION | OpinionA Year of Big Ideas in Social Change (NYT, 12/6)

Imagine that you could buy a loaf of bread for 7 cents. Now marvel at these other cheap expenses.