Broward County launches initiatives to help non-violent offenders rehabilitate and find employment
Broward County, Florida – Broward County State Attorney Harold Pryor is diligently working to assist citizens in clearing their criminal records by expanding the seal and expungement workshop, which offers support to non-violent offenders seeking rehabilitation.
Pryor said that these programs originated from a commitment to provide non-violent offenders with opportunities for rehabilitation and resources to help prevent future involvement in the criminal justice system.
Two new initiatives were launched earlier this year: Economic Empowerment Today and the Court to College Diversion Program. The latter, a collaboration with the Broward Public Defender and Broward College, is a pre-trial diversion program designed to offer educational opportunities for non-violent, first-time offenders, ultimately assisting them in finding employment. Dr. Mildred Coyne, Broward College’s Senior Vice President for Workforce Education and Innovation, emphasized that by granting access to education and workforce training, they are equipping individuals with the necessary skills and qualifications to compete in the job market, thereby breaking the cycle of recidivism.
To participate, candidates must obtain approval from their respective victims. Subsequently, Broward College provides free tuition options for both the victims and defendants, with financial grants available to cover expenses related to books, tuition, and certification exams. Participants must complete all courses in one of three tracks at the college’s Pembroke Pines campus to receive a technical certificate. Labor market information was utilized to identify the most beneficial areas of study for participants, with marine electrician, automotive service technician, and logistics and transportation specialist emerging as the most in-demand occupations.
The Economic Empowerment Today program was established for residents with non-violent third-degree felonies who may be eligible for vocational skills training through OIC-SFL and assistance with job training. Pryor expressed hope that the chance to attend college and obtain training leading to gainful employment will be fully utilized by participants. Successfully completing the training and program requirements allows non-violent offenders to avoid the stigma of a criminal conviction.
For more information about these programs, visit browardsao.com/diversion-programs or call 954-831-8446.