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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Re-Entry Employer Summit Held In West Michigan

          GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan—U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced the holding of an employer summit today in West Michigan as part of the Department of Justice’s Smart on Crime initiative. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and WMU-Cooley Law School are hosting the event to encourage local employers to consider increasing their talent pool through the hiring of returning citizens—formerly incarcerated individuals transitioning to the workplace.

          "Meaningful employment opportunity is critical to effectively help people returning from prison so they do not re-offend," explained U.S. Attorney Miles. "This is crime prevention. Lowering the recidivism rate of returning citizens means less crime, fewer victims, lower costs on society, and saves money. My office strives to be proactive in prosecuting and preventing federal crimes."

          The Summit follows the Department of Justice’s Re-Entry Week in late April, which highlighted various West Michigan re-entry efforts and programs. The Employer Summit includes a panel discussion and a Q&A session with local employers, the Michigan Department of Corrections and others to learn about local efforts, best practices, workforce development, legal considerations and workplace trends related to employer opportunities and benefits with respect to hiring returning citizens. Employers will be invited to join the "30-2-2" effort to recruit at least 30 employers to hire at least two returning citizens whose progress will be documented for two years.

          According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, 10,000 prisoners were paroled in Michigan in 2014, many of whom have returned to Kent County to rebuild their lives. Cascade Engineering and Butterball Farms, Inc., two of the Summit’s sponsors and panelists, have experienced strong success rates hiring returning citizens.

          Media representatives interested in interviewing U.S. Attorney Miles or a participant in the Summit should contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office Press Information Officer, Kaye Hooker, at (616) 560-6512.

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Updated May 26, 2016