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Feds Provide Money For Legal Aid To Help Incarcerated Young Adults In Milwaukee Find Work

$100K From HUD Could Provide Services To 70 People

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A federal program will try to help young adults in Milwaukee who have been behind bars find housing and a job.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is giving the city $100,000 to provide legal services for adults, ages 18 to 24, who have served a jail or prison sentence and are now trying to succeed. The money will help clients get their record expunged or sealed, assist them with getting a driver’s license and offer advice for being re-admitted to school.

HUD regional administrator Antonio Riley said the re-entry program tries to overcome barriers.

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“You know, a young person leaving juvenile detention, or a correctional facility today, carries a heavy burden. A record and the stigma associated with it,” Riley said.

Greg Haanstad, U.S. attorney for eastern Wisconsin, said young people who have paid their debt to society might still face hurdles.

“Landlords might deny them housing because of their criminal records, employers might deny them work because of those criminal records,” said Haanstad. “They may face obstacles to things that seem fairly simple like reinstating revoked or suspended driver’s licenses”

The Milwaukee Housing Authority will contract with Legal Action of Wisconsin to run the program. It hopes to help at least 70 young adults.

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