Project Empowerment Plus is one of several programs the federal Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency in Washington, D.C., offers to help those facing life after prison, says the Washington Examiner, a new daily newspaper in the capital. The program has helped 250 former inmates since it was launched last year, but many more need help. An estimated 2,500 ex-offenders return to Washington each year in search of jobs and a stable life.
Project Empowerment participants take a month-long life-skills course before they are placed in a temporary job and ultimately a permanent position. The program has produced a number of success stories, but working with ex-offenders is a challenge and successes are not easily won, said Leonard A. Sipes Jr. of the court services agency.