Every one of New York City’s estimated 8,500 inmates sentenced to time in city jails will leave with guaranteed, minimum-wage, short-term jobs likes cooks, restaurant bussers, or construction flaggers under a policy announced Wednesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The aim is to reduce recidivism, de Blasio said. In promoting the $10 million program, de Blasio’s office cited research showing recently released inmates who get short-term jobs are 22 percent less likely to reoffend. De Blasio said his administration did not anticipate trouble finding the temporary jobs for any inmate, which can last up to eight weeks.
Jails commissioner Joe Ponte said the program — to be in place by the end of the year — will apply to inmates no matter what crime they’ve committed, as well as people who are on the sex offender registry.
Under the jails-to-jobs program, a departing inmate will also be paired with a “peer navigator” to help provide a measure of stability. De Blasio also announced that jailed inmates will be provided with “re-entry counseling” beginning on their first day behind bars. Inmates facing possible prison sentences are not eligible for the program.