BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Erie County Legislature has introduced the "Former Detainee to Employee" program, which aims to support people who are being released from incarceration.
Legislator Howard Johnson said the goal is to make sure people who are reacclimating to to regular life have access to jobs and housing.
"America is a country of second chances,” said Johnson. “And the importance of that is when folks come out of the criminal justice system, they should have an opportunity at redemption, to restart themselves back into society, back into a normal life.”
The push for this program is also part of "Second Chance Month" in April, designated by the White House to afford people across the country better opportunities after incarceration. According to the White House, 70 million Americans have a criminal record and 75% of them remain unemployed one year after their release.
Johnson said he does not expect a high investment from taxpayers.
"I don’t think it’s much on the taxpayers, but more on the companies that’s willing to hire the person that’s formerly incarcerated," Johnson said.
The "Former Detainee to Employee" program is led by the Erie County Corrections Specialist Advisory Board (ECCSAB) and seeks support from the community and businesses to promise to employ qualified people with criminal records.