For felons who have served their term at the prison and are now considered reformed, in order to make sure that they are able to live as law-abiding citizens, a number of steps have been taken in the past few decades by the government.
It is said, “To err is human”. We all make mistakes in our life. Not all of us are lucky to have a safe and secure home and the right values and education while growing up. Felons, people who have been convicted of committing crimes, could have taken to this path due to a number of reasons. But, as is said past is past, they too like any other person, have the right to come back in the societal stream and live a life of dignity. Government grants for felons are provided keeping this aim in mind. The following article provides comprehensive information on where and how to obtain grants for felons. Read on to find out.
Various Government Grants for Felons
Ex-convicts are now provided grants, financial assistance, and other resources by various government and private institutions so that they do not have to resort back to being a criminal and can earn a decent living. Here are some steps that a felon can take to seek grants from the government:
➜ Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Grants for felons to go to college can be obtained if FAFSA is completed and the eligibility criteria is met by the person. To know in detail about the eligibility criteria and the kind of financial aid that can be sought, visit the website ‘www. fafsa.ed.gov’. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can get assistance in the form of pell grants, stafford loans, perkins loan, and federal work study program. The details of all these types of grants can be obtained from the website itself.
➜ Local Schools and Colleges
If there is any particular college or institute that you wish to join, take an appointment and speak to the authorities there personally. The officials there would be able to guide you on the state felon grants and scholarships. Or at least they would guide you to the right person. Every state has a different law, eligibility criteria, and financial assistance program for ex-convicts. Speaking with the college or school officials will give you a better idea about the same.
➜ Companies with Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
To increase the avenues of jobs for felons, the government has started the WOTC program which provides tax cuts and exemptions to organizations that employ people who find it difficult to get employed. So, all ex-felons can visit the official website of ’employment development department’ and get the details of the companies and places that hire felons.
➜ Prison Entrepreneur Programs
At present, there are no specific and direct grants from the government to start a business. However, felons with some good business ideas and skills can always look out for some private individuals or angel investors who would back their business plan. There are of course training programs offered under the ‘Prison Entrepreneur Programs’, which an ex-convict can attend to learn about writing business plans, running a business, approaching investors, etc.
➜ State Department of Labor
There are many initiatives taken by the federal and state governments for providing assistance to felons for housing, education, and employment. For more information on the grants for felons as well as the eligibility, take an appointment with the officials at your local office of the state department of labor. They will be able to guide you on all the grants that you can avail.
The government from time to time takes measures to rehabilitate the ex-convicts. In the year 2009, the ‘Prisoner Reentry Program’ was started by the government. This program is an initiative of the U.S. Justice Department and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. It provides grants and funds so that the ex-convicts can reenter the community. Under this program, in the year 2009, USD 28 million financial aid was given for the welfare of the felons. So you can see that the government is doing its bit for bringing the felons to the main stream.