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Phoenix receiving $300,000 to help with inmate re-entry programs

(Emily Topper/Tribeca Film Festival via AP)

PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix will receive $300,000 to help people transition from incarcerated to civilian life, it has been announced.

Phoenix is one of several cities to receive the awarded money from the Re-Entry Community Linkages program.

“We’re excited to partner with the Maricopa County Special Healthcare District, which is receiving a $300,000 grant,” Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, said.

Arizona has the sixth-highest incarceration rate in the nation, Gracia said. This leads to significant social and economical costs for the city.

“The RE-LINK program is really an important investment to ensuring that young adults have the best chance possible to succeed when they’re returning from jail into their communities by connecting them to needed health services, as well as education and economic opportunities such as jobs and stable housing,” she said.

According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services number, 11.4 million individuals nationwide cycle through local jails each year.

“What we know for individuals who are formerly incarcerated is that they face higher rates of chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure,” Gracia said. “They also see that mental health problems as well as drug addiction are more common in the formerly incarcerated population.”

For communities of color that’s especially burdensome because minorities make up a disproportionate number of prisoners, she said.

“It can be a challenge for someone who is coming back into their community, to be able to navigate all of those services in ensuring that they have the best chance possible to successfully reintegrate into their community,” Gracia said.

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