NY Reps Propose 'Prison to Proprietorship' Program for Inmates, Recently Released

Rich Lamb
November 19, 2019 - 9:59 am
Reps Nydia Velazquez and Hakeem Jeffries

Rep. Nydia Velazquez

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Two New York representatives have proposed a plan to help imprisoned and recently released inmates successfully re-enter society.

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, chair of the House Small Business Committee, calls it the "Prison To Proprietorship" legislation. Velazquez announced the plan on Saturday alongside co-sponsor Hakeem Jeffries, chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

The plan is meant to help build entrepreneurship skills among inmates, who often face barriers to reentering the workforce.

"We are here to bring solutions to a problem that we have been dealing with for so many years," Velazquez said. "We are here to say that we do believe in a second chance."

The bills would provide counseling, training and resources for inmates and the formerly incarcerated. Velazquez says the bipartisan measures would cut the rate of recidivism and save taxpayer dollars.

“There are people all throughout the federal prison system right now who have the same intellect, the same entrepreneurial skill and ability, the same resiliency as the most successful people on Wall St.,” Jeffries said. “But the only difference is that they were denied opportunity.”