Philadelphia gets $5 million federal grant to assist juvenile offenders

Philadelphia has received a $5 million federal grant to support reintegration and employment services for ex-offenders.

The regional nonprofit Connection Training Services received the funding for use in the “Promise Zone” that President Obama designated earlier this year in the Mantua neighborhood of West Philadelphia.

That designation gave the area an advantage in applying to federal grant programs.

Labor Secretary Tom Perez said the money will fund services to help youth shed the stigma of a juvenile record through the use of diversion or record-expungement strategies.

“Their challenges,” he said, “demand a holistic problem-solving approach that addresses education, job training, potential substance abuse and other barriers.”

So far, the Promise Zone program has not come with additional dedicated funding, but U.S. Sen. Bob Casey announced Friday that he is introducing legislation to create tax credits for businesses in the targeted areas.

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