News & Media

President Announces New Actions to Promote Rehabilitation & Reintegration for Formerly Incarcerated


IU13 Receives National Grant to Support Formerly Incarcerated Adults Continuing Their Education


  • 2.2 million Americans are behind bars, currently – Nearly all of these individuals will be released at some point.*
  • 600,000 inmates are released from prison each year – These individuals need programs to help them get a second chance. They are facing great odds and need help putting their lives back on track. This requires trained and dedicated counselors, parole officers, etc., who are committed to this purpose.*
  • 70 million Americans have some sort of criminal record (1 in 5) – Often times, these records disqualify individuals from becoming a full participants in our society – even if they’ve paid their debt to society. They have difficulty even getting their foot in the door to try and get a job, much less hang on to that job.  That’s bad for the individuals and our economy.*


At a press briefing in Newark, NJ, President Obama highlighted new efforts to support formerly incarcerated individuals. Lancaster-Lebanon IU13 was one of nine recipients, nationwide, to receive grant dollars designated to support the education of incarcerated or formerly incarcerated adults. The project will be part of their Community Education program serving adult learners in Lancaster and Lebanon counties. Since 2012, IU13 and area partners such as the Lancaster Reentry Management Organization (RMO), Lancaster Workforce Investment Board, and Lancaster CareerLink, have supported nearly 300 formerly incarcerated individuals in Lancaster County. With these additional funds, the project will be expanded into Lebanon County.

“We are incredibly honored by this news…” stated Tim Shenk, Program Director of Community Education at IU13.  “This is the outcome of strong partnerships and a unified vision to help others. We are honored to be part of the program, to work alongside area agencies, and to make a difference in the lives of others.”

On average, 500 inmates in Lancaster County and 280 inmates in Lebanon County are released monthly. IU13 will provide Adult Basic Education, GED preparation, and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at both the Lancaster County Prison, the Lebanon County Correctional Facility, and at the community adult education sites, to support these individuals.

Potential students are identified by the prison staff and referred to the IU13 for a thorough assessment of students’ basic skills. These results will be used to make a formalized plan for education while incarcerated and for reentry into the community. Students will be given the opportunity to complete assessments related to their personal interests, skills, and work experience. The student and teacher will work together to make a career pathway plan with the support of the Lancaster RMO, Lebanon Reentry Coalition, and both counties’ CareerLink Centers.

As announced by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), IU13 is one of nine agencies, nationwide, to be awarded the grant as part of the OCTAE’s Improved Reentry Education (IRE) program. The funding is for three years at $350,000 per year, with years 2 and 3 based on an annual evaluation of outcomes.  


For a complete overview of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) grant announcement, click here.

For a full list of President Obama’s recommendations, click here.


Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU13) is an education service agency dedicated to delivering services to school districts and communities across the state. IU13 serves the 22 public school districts in Lancaster and Lebanon counties, as well as students in nonpublic schools, preschoolers, and adult learners throughout Pennsylvania.  For more information about IU13 programs, visit


Media Contact: Shannan B. Guthrie •  717-203-5433 •