(WETM) – As part of her first State of the State address New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a new ‘Jails to Jobs” initiative to “improve re-entry into the workforce and reduce recidivism by focusing on connecting previously incarcerated individuals with education, resources and opportunities for job placement.”

The proposal includes, among other plans, an expansion of higher learning opportunities, increasing post-release employment, expanding re-entry programs, and refocusing parole officers on job placement.

“There is no justice in a system that continues to unduly punish formerly incarcerated individuals who have served their time and paid their debts to society,” Governor Hochul said. “We know how the proper training, opportunity, or college degree can lift up any New Yorker no matter where you come from, which is why we must harness the power of education to help formerly incarcerated individuals with re-entry, while also ensuring the justice system itself doesn’t stand in the way of someone trying to improve their life.”