JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Wednesday, officials with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) announced that the state was awarded an $8.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, in partnership with the Department of Justice.

The funds are expected to enhance the Bureau of Prisons’ existing rehabilitation and re-entry efforts.

Officials said the Partners for Reentry Opportunities in Workforce Development (PROWD) grant will provide support for people in federal custody to prepare them to succeed once they return to their communities and rejoin the workforce. The grant will expand access to mentoring, coaching, employment and training programs, and other support services before and after their release.

The PROWD grant will support the delivery of pre- and post-release services to participants in three stages:

  • Stage one: Training and supportive reentry services offered to people before their federal release to a residential reentry center or home confinement.
  • Stage two: Training and job placement services and supportive reentry services provided to people after their transition to a reentry center or home confinement.
  • Stage three: Additional supportive reentry and employment services, including on-the-job-training, provided to participants once they transition into the community after their full release.