Santa Barbara County was selected to receive nearly $2.5 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide education and employment opportunities for inmates.
The Pathway Home Grant will fund a new reentry program that will help 250 individuals get jobs in their communities prior to their release from the Santa Barbara County Jail or Santa Barbara Northern Branch Jail, according to a news release.
This project will be spearheaded by the County’s Workforce Development Board, the county Sheriff’s Office, Allan Hancock College and Santa Barbara City College. According to a news release, the county received one of the 28 annual Pathway Home Grants.
“The Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board is pleased to move forward in partnership with Sheriff Bill Brown and his team, as well as our two community colleges and community-based organizations to provide much need pre-release and post-release services to incarcerated individuals,” Raymond McDonald, the executive director of the Workforce Development Board, said in a statement.
“These services will help to rebuild lives and contribute to the community.”
In addition to helping incarcerated individuals secure jobs, the grant will allow the Sheriff’s Office to partner with Allan Hancock College and Santa Barbara City College to provide educational and vocational training to individuals in custody.
“This grant will enable us to provide comprehensive pre- and post-release services in the form of educational and job training programs designed to transition justice-involved individuals into productive and contributing members of society,” Rick Rantz, the dean at Allan Hancock College Academic Affairs, said in a statement. “Allan Hancock College has achieved a lot of success in this area through our existing Rising Scholars program, and we look forward to expanding our work at the Santa Barbara County North Branch Jail through this grant.”
In a statement, Sheriff Bill Brown said it can be difficult for formerly incarcerated people to successfully re-enter the community after being in custody, but this grant will help to change that.
“This Pathway Home grant will allow us to provide — in partnership with Santa Barbara City and Allan Hancock Community Colleges — education and vocational training to people in county custody and will also provide incentive funding to employers who give justice-involved persons a second chance at employment when they are released from jail,” Sheriff Brown said in a statement. “We look forward to many successful outcomes and stronger and safer communities as a result of this grant.”