77th Annual Meeting

ENCOURAGING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF GREEN REENTRY PROGRAMS

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has established policy on both "Green Jobs" and successful prisoner reentry programs; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Congress has enacted legislation such as the Clean Energy Act, the Second Chance Act, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that encourage both prisoner reentry and green jobs; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Congress has included funding for "Green Jobs" in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and in funding bills for FY2009; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution during the 2008 Annual Conference urging mayors to strengthen job training programs to encourage low income residents into this emerging field; and

WHEREAS, the City of Baltimore is currently establishing a Green Jobs Creation Coalition, which will identify the needs of businesses, develop training programs, and work to move the City's unemployed and under-employed, including those returning to the community from incarceration, into gainful employment opportunities; and

WHEREAS, the City of Chicago has made the creation of green jobs a priority through adoption of the Chicago Climate Action Plan and has demonstrated the success of ex-offender job training through its fifteen-year-old groundbreaking Greencorps program, which trains disadvantaged Chicagoans with barriers to employment for green jobs, including home energy retrofits, computer repair and landscaping; and

WHEREAS, the Nation's first 'green' reentry center is currently being built by Generations Inc. in southern New Jersey within which ex-offenders will be trained in energy efficiency technology installation, sustainable building practices and green roof maintenance; and

WHEREAS, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics 67.5% of prisoners released are rearrested within 3 years; and

WHEREAS, programs like the U.S. Department of Labor's Prisoner Reentry Initiative have shown promising results where only 14% of those participating in the Initiative are rearrested after one year as compared to the national average of 44%; and

WHEREAS, allowing ex-offenders to take advantage of job training programs in the growing green jobs field will allow them access into emerging markets with marketable skills and the potential for long term employment, aiding them in successfully reintegrating into society; and

WHEREAS, successful reintegration strategies will help to reduce crime rates by reducing the recidivism rate; and

WHEREAS, the cost of ex-offenders re-offending is not only a substantial burden on our overcrowded prison system, but on our social services because of the effects of families that have been left behind,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the U.S. Congress to provide incentives to local and state governments that encourage training persons in custody and subject to court supervision in new and emerging fields and assisting them in obtaining jobs in such fields; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Congress provide maximum authorized funding for Green Jobs Act Grants especially the "Green Pathways out of Poverty" Program as well as the Second Chance Act Grants for FY2010; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors further encourage its membership to develop innovative strategies to include ex-offenders in the expanding 'green' economy.