New Initiative Aims to Put Federal Inmates to Work

by Pamela Hamm
NewsWest 9

More than two million people are currently in prisons here in Texas. Now there is an effort underway to make sure those people find meaningful work when they get out.

Studies show finding a good job is a key to keeping ex-cons from committing new crimes and returning to prison.

Officials with area courts, probation and parole offices gathered Thursday morning in downtown Midland at the Hilton Hotel to discuss the Workforce Development System. Employers from around West Texas that are willing to hire felons were also present.

The idea by the U.S. Office of Probation and the Bureau of Prisons is to integrate federal inmates back into society. The Permian Basin's acute worker shortage also makes the program attractive.

The Workforce Development System will host a job fair in September. Employers who hire federal inmates through this program are eligible for a tax credit.